Thank You Letter
Compassionate and caring people are too often overlooked. The residents of Reserve, NM warrant special recognition! In early February our parents, Wayne and Judy Koenen found themselves lost and stranded on a remote, mountainous road approximately 60 miles from Reserve. Our parents, ages seventy-nine and eighty, spent two and half days in sub-freezing weather along an isolated stretch of road. Our father passed away after spending fifty-five hours of being exposed to the elements. Our mother dozed off while journaling information and instructions for the people that she expected would eventually find them. Our mother was found by a hunting party lead by Tim Rawlings and Kenny Burton from Old West Guides and Outfitters. These gentlemen instantaneously ensured our mother’s safety and graciously delivered her back to Reserve expeditiously. Once in town, she was housed by The Frisco Lodging Co., and Jennifer, the manager, spoke to several family members upon our mother’s arrival. Jennifer was a steadying messenger, reassuring us that Mom was being taken care of. Jennifer also sent her sister-in-law, Jessica, to assist our mother with the check-in process. It was our understanding Jessi- ca is a First Responder and while helping Mom with the check-in process mentally assessed Mom’s condition. Thank you, Jessica. Catron’s County Sheriff Department continued the exceptional support and service Mom received from this small New Mexico town. They retrieved our father’s body and helped Mother begin the recovery journey. The network of support provided by the Sheriff’s department and others made Mom’s personal burdens tolerable. The Shriver’s, Mike and Vicki, took up the support baton, transporting and helping Mom make mortuary and cremation arrangements. Stress associated with these tasks is extreme and common place after a sudden death, but accomplishing these duties over a thousand miles from home with no family support is overwhelming. Every meal Mother ate while in Reserve was bought or provided by the generosity of others. The kindness of Chris Mandrick, the Shriver’s, and others who provided transportation to clinic and courthouse not only comforted our mother but also our family who felt helpless. Spontaneous hugs were given by Reserve residents as Mom walked the streets of Reserve. The outfitters checked in on Mom a couple days later to see how she
was doing. This hunting party saved a life and returned our mother to an extremely grateful family, THANK YOU!
Finally, the crowning act of kindness was when Connie Corvell, the town’s mayor, provided our mother a ride from Reserve to the Albuquerque Airport. Connie escorted Mom to the ticketing desk and gave Mom the last of dozens of preceding hugs she received from benevolent strangers.
The kindness extended to our mom makes us well up with sentimental emotion. But more importantly these acts of humanity instill in us respect and admiration that do not get the recognition they deserve. This experience reaffirms our belief that people are inherently good. The residents of Reserve, NM, demonstrate this clearly through their unselfish and compassionate care offered to Mom and our family. We are eternally indebted to all of you who went out of your way to comfort and support Mom as she began her journey of grief and eventually recuperation to the vibrant, classy lady we cherish.
Thank you again and God Bless you!
The Koenen Family.