EDITOR’S NOTES: This was written in April 2008 by Kathleen Spring (Lyons Recorder). It was part of her continuing weekly series “SPOT on Seniors,” which included one monthly article giving a senior’s life story. (Only the section about the creation and growth of the Golden Gang is reproduced here.)
Don and Mary Hunt had five children. When it came time to retire, they moved to Lyons on Thanksgiving Day 1995. They eventually would open up a laundromat, and become deeply involved in the Lyons senior lunches and senior center. In 2018 they moved to Longmont to be closer to the frequent medical services that Don needed. They lived together for 62 years until he died. Don was known for his beautifully landscaped garden around their mobile home. The 2013 Flood destroyed their trailer, and an engraved sandstone park bench was placed there, as part of the Rocky Mt. Botanic Gardens.
“Don started going down to Lyons while I was still working. In 1995, we both started delivering the food (Meals on Wheels) on Tuesdays. We’d get it from Longmont. We were getting acquainted with Lyons and got others to come to the fire hall for lunch, and then they got their friends to come.”
Mary and other key people saw the need to establish an independent Lyons Meals on Wheels group that raised its own funds and set its own rules, separate from Boulder County. In 1997, the GGang was started and Mary was the secretary for six years. Mary helps in small and big ways. For Christmas, Mary organized three craft parties to guide senior volunteers in making several big selling items.
“The very first Christmas, we had a bazaar. I did the crafts and some organizing of the crafts,” said Mary. “The first items we made were 15 tinsel Christmas trees. We fastened five hangers into a 3-D tree and attached tinsel and lights. They were about 28 inches tall. The first Good Old Days fundraiser didn’t’ turn out well, so we switched from crafts (the next June) to food and beverage.”
The couple will be moving to Longmont, for health reasons. They are sad to leave their mobile home which is situated along the South St. Vrain River where they used to take three-mile walks. They are familiar sights with the Generational Active People (teens and seniors) program, attending almost every activity. (The GAP was part of the group that did the Visitor Center mural and the Clarifier Project.)
“I’ve received so many blessings,” said Mary. “I’ve got a lot of long-lasting friendships from here and Nebraska. We’ve been on some good trips. It’s the feeling of family at the Golden Gang. We’ll keep coming back as long as we can.”