Bev Zanella ‘graduates’ from Alpine Bank |

Bev Zanella ‘graduates’ from Alpine Bank

Post Independent/Kara K. Pearson

Bev Zanella might not know everyone in town but she’s far ahead of most of us. Zanella, who on Friday retired from Alpine Bank in Glenwood Springs after 22 years, speaks to just about everyone who comes through the door and knows just about all of them.Zanella grew up in Glenwood Springs and also grew with Alpine Bank, which opened its doors in 1980.She was born Beverly Ryan on April Fools Day, 1936, at the old Hopkins Hospital, which is now an apartment building on Eighth and Bennett. Bev’s parents – Joseph and Angelina – came to Glenwood via Leadville. They met in Glenwood and were married here and operated the Buttercup Bakery.Bev and her husband Bob met when they were in fourth or fifth grade, Bev doesn’t remember exactly. Bob’s parents owned the now defunct Rex Hotel.It was not love at first sight. “He was one of those guys who used to torment the girls,” she said.

Bob went away to Catholic boarding school in Canon City and perhaps the old saying holds true that absence makes the heart grow fonder. When he came back to Glenwood at 16 and re-entered high school here, he and Bev were an item.After high school graduation they both met up again at Parks Business College in Denver. After graduation, they married, on June 2, 1956, and Bob joined the Air Force. Bev followed Bob to Topeka, Kan., but when he was assigned to Iceland she came back to live with her parents in Glenwood.When he got out of the service, “Dad wanted him in the business,” Bev said.Then began a daily ritual in which Bob began baking at four or five in the morning. They closed the business down on Dec. 31, 1981, “right before Black Sunday” in May of 1982 when Exxon closed down its Colony oil shale project, laying off over 2,000 workers and plunging the county into economic depression.”We were struggling, we had five kids,” Bev said, and both she and Bob had to work.Ever the optimists, Bob went right out into the community. He was elected to city council in 1983 and also landed a job in circulation at the then-Glenwood Post.

In 1984, Bev went to work at Alpine Bank as a teller. A friend had told her there was an opening and she should apply. It was a move she’s never regretted.”I didn’t know anything about banking,” she said. “It’s been a marvelous, wonderful (job). They treat you great. It’s very family oriented and very community oriented.”Standing in a place of pride on Bev’s desk is a stunning bronze eagle in flight, a gift from the bank to commemorate 20 years of service.Friday, the bank treated Bev’s many friends to an open house in her honor at the Glenwood branch. That was her last day and she ended her career as an operations specialist, helping people set up new accounts.Now that she’s officially retired, Bev said she and Bob are looking forward to spending a couple weeks in Denver with their daughter Jean and her kids for Christmas. They’ll also be visiting the other kids, Rob and Tom, Steve and Trina, their eight grandchildren and five “grand cats.”The next step is to “get some place where it’s warm” for the winter.

She’ll be missed in the place she’s served for all those years. But don’t be surprised to see her and Bob around town. For these grade-school sweethearts, retirement is really graduation.Contact Donna Gray: 945-8515, ext. 16605dgray@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO

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