Steamboat quilting guild goes to work honoring veterans for their service (with photos)
The Delectable Mountain Quilters Guild kicked off the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion’s joint monthly meeting on Thursday, April 13, at the Steamboat Springs Community Center by presenting the first of seven honor quilts to Navy veteran Modesto “Comp” Compestine.
“It’s an honor for me to do something so little for those who gave so much,” said Nancy Wilson, a guild member. “Men and women died saving our country and protecting our country from outside forces, and this is just a small token that I can give them to show my appreciation.”
Wilson said the guild decided in January to start making quilts for Routt County veterans as part of a community service project.
She said the guild hopes to make 90 honor quilts for veterans in Routt County. The first seven quilts were presented as part of Thursday’s meeting. An eighth quilt will be given to Walt Florquist, who was unable to attend the meeting.
Wilson was joined by six of the club’s more than 60 members, including Cindy Doran, who made four quilts. Maria Bidgood, Annette DeMay, Lana Geselbracht and Peggy Hoff also presented quilts to Jim Ficke, Buck Buckland, Win Dermody, Bob Printy, Hal Matthes and Bob Grippa, as well as Compestine.
“As far as we can determine, Modesto is the last born and raised Routt County World War II veteran,” Jim Stanko said at the meeting. “He served in the Navy at the end of WWII.”
Among the other’s honored were:
Ficke, an Army combat veteran who served during the Korean War and has lived in Routt County since the early 1970s. He enjoyed a large long career with the Forest Service and is a 15-year member of the post.
Buckland served in the Navy during the Korean War and then in the Air Force during Vietnam. Buckland is the only member of both the VFW and Legion to serve in both conflicts, and he was also in Berlin when the wall came down. He is also a past commander of the Legion 44 Post, where he has been a member for 24 years.
Dermody served in the Army Field Artillery during the 1950s, has been a Post member for 15 years and is an important part of the Post’s honor guards.
Printy is a veteran of the Army who served in Panama during the 1960s and has been a part of the Post for 22 years, acting as Legion Post commander, as well as being a part of the honor guard.
Matthes is a Navy veteran who served off the coast of Vietnam. For the past four years, he has led the American Legion Post 44 as its commander. He has also helped organize Veterans Day programs at local schools, as well as the annual Memorial Day ceremonies. He is a 10-year member of the Legion and VFW.
Grippa is a veteran of the Marine Corps and served as a combat engineer in Vietnam in the late 1960s. He has been a part of the VFW-Legion honor guard rifle squad for sever years and has helped with the activities of both posts. He is a 19-year member of both the VFW and Legion posts.
Florquist served in the Navy during the Korean War and became a well-known businessman in the Steamboat area after his service. He ran local service stations, and he and his wife of 70 years, Betty, have been longstanding, respected members of the Steamboat Springs community.
John F. Russell is the business reporter at the Steamboat Pilot & Today. To reach him, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.
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