Late Montezuma County Commissioner Joel Stevenson was honored by family, friends and U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert during a memorial Wednesday at the county annex in Cortez.
Fifty family and friends gathered to remember Stevenson, who died Jan. 18. He served as county commissioner for Mancos District 3 and was a longtime state brand inspector.
County Administrator Shak Powers and Boebert spoke of Stevenson’s cowboy values, strong commitment to family and friends, and his public service.
In honor of Stevenson, Boebert gave an American flag that has flown over the U.S. Capitol to the family.
“It is a time of mourning and also celebration for someone who served the community selflessly,” Boebert said.
In the prayer, Boebert thanked Stevenson for his life of “honor and goodness.”
The lord’s holy spirit will “heal the hearts of the family and bring times of joy and remembrance,” she said.
During her minute-long speech to the House, Boebert said, “Stevenson will be remembered as a larger-than-life champion of rural Colorado who never wavered in his belief that the world needs more cowboys.”
“America needs more cowboys like my friend Joe Stevenson, but I know that heaven just gained one,” she said, quoting her speech to the House.
Stevenson served as a Southwest Colorado brand inspector for 20 years.
Powers spoke about Stevenson’s “strong voice for the common people and strong voice for agriculture.”
As a commissioner, he had a practical, commonsense approach and pushed back against government overreach.
Stevenson’s life as a “family man, friend, confidant and community leader will not be forgotten,” Powers said.
A plaque from the county in appreciation of Stevenson was presented to the family.
Jeff Martinez grew up with Stevenson in Mancos and was a lifelong friend of more than 50 years.
He will remembered for his “great personality, for his love for everybody, and for his love of animals. He was an all-around great person.”
He was also compassionate and generous man.
When Martinez had a life-threatening illness, Stevenson promised “that my family would be taken care of if I did not make it. That says a lot, meant a lot.”
One of his favorite childhood memories was roping cows with Stevenson from the top of haystacks and getting pulled off.
“He became a great cowboy. It is hard to explain how much he will be missed,” Martinez said. “I don’t know anyone who disliked him.”