Marilyn Cox

Marilyn Cox

Happy 65th Anniversary to Peggy and Gary Dickerson. A celebration will be held for them on March 9, at Pea Green Community Hall, at 3 in the afternoon. They were married at the Olathe Baptist Church parsonage by Reverend Roy Jones on Feb. 28, 1954 and have lived their entire married lives in the same area.

Gary was born just a half-mile south of the former Pea Green Store, the only child of Wilbur and Nora Dickerson. He helped his father with farming and attended school at Fairview.

“I rode my horse to school,” said Gary. “I was on the back of a horse when I was three or four years old and have ridden all my life.”

Peggy was born in Delta, moving to Pea Green with her family in 1946. Her parents were Allie (better known as “Red”) and Opha Fraser.

“My dad came from Iowa and my mother was from Missouri,” said Peggy who grew up in a large family and attended school at Pea Green.

Gary remembers noticing Peggy for the first time when he was in seventh grade. Their schools played softball against one another. Peggy noticed Gary when she was in eighth grade.

“He came riding down to Pea Green on his horse with a couple of other boys. I thought he was the best looking cowboy I ever saw!”

They were steadies throughout high school. Following their wedding, Gary’s aunt had dinner for them at her house in Montrose, as well as baking them a nice wedding cake.

“The next day we went to Paonia — an all day trip — to get a load of coal,” said Gary. “We had to heat our house.”

The first four years they lived in a small house on Gary’s parents’ place, then moved to their present home in 1958 where they raised three children — Richard, Robert and Rebecca (Allen) and welcomed several grandchildren and many great-grands.

They continue to enjoy a close family life. Both are tough, having fought concerning health issues, but still follow kids’ activities, enjoy their mountain cow camp, canning, cooking — even babysitting now and then. Peggy is known for her delicious cinnamon rolls, rhubarb jam and pie. She still rings doorbells as the very popular and successful Avon lady.

Gary feels pride in the fact that his ranch will stay in the family and that the long-time family traditions will continue. He is proud of his rich history in the area, beginning with his great-grandparents, Peter and Lydia Dickerson, who moved to the Pea Green area in 1918, with their six children. Lydia died that spring.

Peter had help with the children, but he contracted the flu himself in 1921, dying that winter. The kids were “farmed out” to various family members and neighbors. Wilbur (later to become Gary’s father) went to live with the Charles Ray family and became one of them.

“I am very thankful,” wrote Wilbur in 1991. “They sent me to school as one of their own. I graduated from Delta High School in 1927, went to Ft. Collins for one semester, came home and helped with the Ray’s farming operation.

On April 18, 1933, Wilbur married Nora McClanahan. Their only son, Gary, was born the next year.

“Nora and I have had a beautiful, wonderful life together for 57 years,” wrote Wilbur the year that Nora was diagnosed with Alzheimer disease. She finished her life in Colorow Care Center with family members always close by. Gary took over the farming for his father as well as doing his own farming and managing his cattle operation.

Marilyn Cox, a native of Montrose County, grew up on a farm and was always surrounded by countless family members who instilled the love of family and history. She retired from the Montrose County School District and, for 21 years, served as curator of the Montrose County Historical Museum.

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