KREMMLING - Gary and Jennifer Bumgarner have been selected Citizens of the Year by the West Grand Community Educational Foundation.
The Bumgarners have a long history of involvement in the Kremmling community. They share a common thread with past Citizens of the Year - a passion for making their world a little bit better place in which to live.
Gary was born and raised in Kremmling, and ranching was always what he wanted to do, he said. He represents the fourth generation on the family ranch; his mother Helen was born in Middle Park and lived in the Blue River Valley near present-day Spring Creek.
Gary's father Welton was from Russell, Kansas. Welton had dairy cows and delivered milk, cheese and butter to town. They also raised sheep until Gary started the cattle business.
Jennifer grew up in Fort Morgan, Colo., before moving to Loveland in junior high. She graduated from Loveland High School and attended the University of Northern Colorado where she earned a degree in vocational home economics.
She accepted her first teaching job at West Grand School District in Kremmling, where she met Gary. Jennifer says she always knew she was going to be a teacher but just didn't know what subject she would be teaching. She earned a Masters Degree in Technology Education and is currently the technology teacher for students in Kindergarten through eighth grade in the West Grand School District.
The Bumgarners raised three children, Wade, Christina and Kimberly, who all graduated from the West Grand School District, and they have five grandchildren, with another one on the way.
Gary and Jennifer say they serve the community because of everything the community has given to their family. They enjoy the "true spirit of caring" that exists in the Kremmling community, they said. "We might hear complaints," Jennifer said, "but when the chips are down, we pull together as a community. This is also a safe place for our kids and grandkids."
They hope to instill in their family the spirit of giving back.
"We will serve where the Lord shows us a need, to try and continue to make this a great place to live for many generations," they said.
Gary has served on various boards through the years, including those of the Farm Bureau, Kremmling Memorial Hospital District, the West Grand School Board, Kremmling Rotary, and he is now serving as one of the Grand County Commissioners.
Jennifer seems to center her service on students, teaching, sewing and counseling.
"I've just always thought if the good Lord points out a need to you, then He must want you to do something about it," Jennifer said.