New Castle councilor brings a rich lifetime of experience
NEW CASTLE, Colorado – From southern California surfer to Vietnam vet, from motorcycle cop to motivational speaker, New Castle resident Merle Means has lived a life of rich adventures and service.Now the retired minister is bringing his diverse experience to his new role as New Castle Town Council member.”I am loving my new position and am excited about working with the other council members in the vision and future of our wonderful town,” said Means, a youthful age 65, who was appointed to a four-year term in May.For the past three years, Means has traveled across the United States and Canada with a prominent motivational and professional training company, presenting personal growth topics from money management to outdoor wilderness experiences. His decision to retire and just relax didn’t last long when the itch came to get involved in town leadership.”His skills are a great addition to the varied talents who are on the council already,” New Castle Mayor Frank Breslin noted. “Merle has very good reasoning skills, is a very sensible person and has a good sense of humor.” Means grew up in California playing in a rock band, driving hot rods and racing motorcycles. After being drafted for the Vietnam War and serving in the Air Force, Means tried several jobs before joining the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department in California where he spent four years. He moved to Denver to serve with the Denver police for 10 years, first in the motorcycle squad and later as a forensic chemist in the crime lab.Life soon led Means in a profound direction as he earned a ministerial degree and served in interfaith Christian churches for 26 years in five states. He also earned two degrees from Washington State University in comparative religion and anthropology. His unique life is characterized by his philosophy: “The only thing that limits us is our own thinking. Simply put, change your thinking, change your life.”Merle and his wife, Leslie, moved to western Colorado to be near family and started a church in Carbondale where they served for four years. Together they have four children, including two teenagers at home, and six grandchildren.Although the couple has enjoyed a somewhat quieter life in New Castle for the past eight years, Means’ rambling streak shows up still in his love of riding his Gold Wing motorcycle wherever the road leads.
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