Longtime residents named Grand Valley Days marshals
Grand Valley Park Association recently announced the grand marshals for the 2015 Grand Valley Days celebration.
Alena Douglas, known to many as “grandma” will be honored as this year’s Pioneer Marshal. Sherry Loschke — Douglas’ daughter — and her husband John Loschke will serve as the Pioneer Marshal’s posse.
Grand marshals are chosen as a way to honor residents during the annual celebration, which originated in 1908.
Douglas was born in 1924 in Grand Valley, Colorado, now known as Parachute, where she was raised and educated. She has spent 61 years on the same street in Parachute that she lives on today. At 91 years old she has seen many Grand Valley Days and looks back on a lively and productive life.
Douglas managed the Valley Car Wash for 12 years, managed and cleaned Cottonwood Park for five years, worked at the library and at 80 years of age she was the grandma for Head Start in Parachute.
She enjoyed her Friday nights and sometimes Saturday nights as part of the “Golden Girls” — a group that included her dear friends and partners, Della Satterfield, Jody Lindauer and Lola Allen. Douglas was the designated driver during those “Golden Girl” outings. As the last “Golden Girl,” Douglas said she has had to cut back on her partying.
Her daughter, Sherry, has lived in Parachute for most of her life; working for the school district and in the energy field. She is presently opening an insurance agency in her Parachute home.
Sherry has been active in many committees and boards over the years.
Most endeared to her heart is the progress made by the town of Parachute and all those who live in the Parachute/Battlement Mesa area. Sherry’s husband John Loschke has played a part in that progress.
John came to Parachute in 1980 to try and take advantage of the shale boom. He and Sherry, as he lovingly refers to as “his rock,” decided to stay and raise a family when things went bust. Their son Joe is 31 and their daughter Niki is 28.
John has served as a Parachute trustee for nearly 30 years — 12 of those as mayor. He was involved in the initial process for the Interstate 70 west interchange and managed to see the arduous work come to fruition. He also supported the Cottonwood Park and Rest Stop improvement and the development of Beasley Park. John previously served on the local school board and chamber of commerce, as well as the Grand Valley Volunteer Fire Department for roughly 6 years. He has been involved in baseball, basketball softball, wrestling and golf programs throughout the years in the community.
John said he believes the two toughest things about living in Parachute are: making a living in the roller-coaster world of energy; and being away from family back in Missouri. Comparatively, he said the two easiest things about living in Parachute are: living with his wonderful bride for the last 35 years; and raising a family in Colorado.
“I thank the good Lord daily for being blessed,” he said.
Grand Valley Park Association invites everyone to congratulate Pioneer Marshal Alena Douglas and her posse Grand Marshals Sherry and John Loschke.
This year’s Grand Valley Days is scheduled for Aug. 14-15, and will feature a “Disney Comes to Grand Valley Days” theme for the parade, which starts at 10 a.m. Aug. 15 in downtown Parachute.
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