Castle Valley Comments: Dec. 12, 2019

Dementia patient rescued after extensive search

ron drake column mug
Ron Drake

Fire departmentThe members of the Castle Valley Fire Department were called to action last Thursday, Dec. 5 to help find a missing person. A resident on Shafer Lane called a fire department member for help to find an 83-year-old man with dementia who had wandered off from home he has been in. Ella Sabodski has been the caregiver for this man for the past 10 years and lately he has been wandering off when no one is looking.

This particular evening a neighbor saw someone walking east from the house but thought nothing of it until Sabodski started calling around the neighborhood when the elderly person went missing. With that lead and description of clothing, the fire department members were paged to help with the search because it was nearly dark and the temperature was getting colder and he wasn’t dressed to be out in the cold of night. The Grand County Sheriff’s dispatch was notified who also activated the Grand County Search and Rescue personnel along with a search dog.

The fire department personnel searched the roads east of Shafer Lane but the search was narrowed to the lower Miller Lane area as additional information was received. The missing man was soon located by fire department member Jazmine Duncan while she was searching a residence on Miller Lane. The man apparently walked across a field and entered an unoccupied residence and made himself at home.

Duncan said there were a lot of cars outside but it didn’t appear that anyone was home as she approached the house, but she could see someone wandering around inside the dimly lit house and recognized him as the missing person. “I’m just a stranger here,” he said as Duncan entered the home, “I just came in to get warm.” Others from the search party soon entered the house and they were all engaged in a friendly conversation until Sabodski came to retrieve him and take him to his own home.


The Castle Valley Library presents the Castle Valley Chamber Music Society Tuesday, Dec. 17 at 6:30 p.m. Everyone is invited to join them for an informal evening of classical and folk chamber music with Debbie Holland and friends.


Forty years ago this week I wrote about the Castle Valley Relief Society, a women’s organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and their sponsorship of a public family movie, “Life With Father.” It was to be held that week at the Ehlers home and $1 per person was charged to cover the cost of the movie and refreshments.

I also reminded everyone about the annual Castle Valley Institute (now DayStar Adventist Academy) Christmas program. This year the tradition continues as the school presents the Christmas program for the 50th time. During the first few years of the program it was held in the basement of the chapel, which was still under construction. Dave Seibert, the music director at the time, said straw was used to cover the dirt floor of the basement, a scene similar to the story of the birth of the Christ child.

I also ran a picture of our three children, Bobby, Sissy, and Rhondelle as they carried a freshly cut Christmas tree down the mountain to the truck to be hauled home and decorated. We did that as a family for many years. Sometimes we would go up after work and end up traipsing around in the dark until we found the perfect tree. After the kids left home Pat and I opted for an imitation tree to give our home the festive atmosphere and not have to deal with the knee-deep snow for the perfect tree.