All About Town

Written by: Suzy Metzler

July 24, 2019 Edition


In early May it was easy to see that people were not going to be coming up to Pitkin for the summer as early as they usually do. The large amount of snowfall - which kept coming until early June, though didn't stay on the ground long - made it impossible for many to reach their beloved cabins above Pitkin.

The town remained quieter than usual through June and passes began to open in early July. As of this writing, on July 19, Tin Cup Pass is still snowed in at the summit from the East side, but most other routes are open, sometimes with caution needed.


The author of this publication has been on two trips since May 20, and worked six days (well, they're really half-days, but still...) a week at the Pitkin Post Office from June 12 until July 10, so wasn't able to take the time to write for about three months.

In the author's opinion, we had an easier-than-expected Mud Season. When the sloppier mush melted off the driving surfaces, the surface got solid and was not difficult to drive on. Still messy, but with as much snow as we had this winter, it seemed that it would be much worse.


Pitkin has suffered two losses recently. First, Brian Holt, a newer Pitkin property owner, passed away on June 14. Next, long-time seasonal resident Natalie Zook passed away just last Saturday suddenly.

Brian D. Holt
November 14, 1965 to June 14, 2019

Brian Holt, a Colorado Springs Native, passed away June 14, 2019, in Colorado Springs. He is survived by his father David, his mother, Jane and his brother, Bradley. Brian worked for Bryan Construction as a construction superintendent for 23 years.

Brian loved the mountains and will be laid to rest in Pitkin, Colorado overlooking the town of Pitkin where he purchased a retirement cabin.

A local celebration of life was held on Saturday June 29, 2019 at Norris Penrose Event Center in the VIP room upstairs from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. Another celebration of life was held in Pitkin, Colorado on July 13, 2019, at 2 p.m.

Natalie Jo (Zink) Zook

Natalie Jo (Zink) Zook, age 86, died with her family at her side, early Saturday morning July 13, 2019 while vacationing at the family home in Pitkin, Colorado.

Born, March 13th, 1933 in Hutchinson, Kansas, she was the daughter of the late Orval and Mary (Bontrager) Zink.

Natalie graduated as Valedictorian from Shallow Water High School, Shallow Water, Kansas in 1951 setting school records in basketball. Her academic accomplishments  included: Associate in Arts degree with a State Teachers Certificate from Hesston College, Hesston, Kansas in 1953; Bachelors Degree in Home Economics from Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas in 1956 and Masters in Educational Counseling from Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas in 1976.

Natalie’s professional career was wide and varied, excelling wherever she focused, starting in a one room school house in Scott County with 5 students. Natalie’s career focus changed to the position of Pastor’s wife and Mother when she married Donald B Zook in 1954 with Daughter Tamara Kay and Dana Bob joining the family. In the role of Pastor’s wife she supported her husband at nine different appointments throughout Kansas: Palco, Lindsborg, Belle Plain, Bird City, Wichita, Hoisington, Leoti, Great Bend and Macksville. Her career during these appointments included Bird City High School Home Economics teacher; Head of Volunteers at Planned Parenthood and various other counseling positions while working towards her Masters Degree; a Certified Financial Planner for Waddell & Reed; Russell, Kansas Middle School Counselor; started the Great Bend CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) Program and ended her career in the Wichita Public School System as a Middle
School Counselor.

Natalie and Don supported international congregations as an interim pastor: Northern Ireland, northern England and appointments with the American Churches Abroad in London, England; Bogota, Columbia; Brasilia, Brazil; Bali, Indonesia.

Don and Natalie supported a number of volunteer organizations throughout the United States and even in Zimbabwe, Africa. They enjoyed traveling over ten years in their Recreational Vehicle throughout the United States with trips into Canada and Mexico. They also enjoyed international travel to over sixty countries.

Don and Natalie built a vacation cabin in Pitkin, Colorado. Natalie was a summer fixture in Pitkin, supporting every organization imaginable until her death there - where she had spoken the previous week as the place where she wanted to end her days. While serving as President of the Pitkin HIstorical and Community Association her crowning achievement was the construction of the Community Center.

Natalie was an accomplished pianist and loved singing and accompanying throughout her life. She loved music, games, people, deep conversations, laughing, theatre, socializing with her many friends, as well as with her immediate and extended family. Natalie was an extraordinary leader and always stepped up to wherever help was needed.

Natalie Zook was proceeded in death by her Mother and Father and brother Robert Zink. She is survived by her husband, her two children, her brother’s Carl Zink and OJ Zink.

Her Memorial was Thursday, July 18th, 2019 at 11:00 AM at College Hill United Methodist Church, 2930 East First Street, Wichita, Kansas. Burial Services to be held at Pleasant Valley Township Cemetery, Pawnee County (Larned), Kansas, Saturday, July 20th at 11:00 AM. A Special Memorial will be held Friday, July 26th at 11:00 AM in The Community Building in Pitkin, Colorado.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial contribution in Natalie Zook’s name to: Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc., P.O. Box 97166, Washington, DC 20090-7166.


Pitkin had an Art Show and Sale at the Newcomb Community Center featuring some truly unique work from Pitkin area artists. The Show and Sale runs from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. both July 19 and July 20. This event is sponsored by the Pitkin Historical & Community Association.

The Pitkin Melodrama will be held on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:00 p.m. Pitkin Day will be on Saturday, July 27, beginning at 8:00 a.m. with a Fun Run/Walk at the Silver Plume General Store at 9th Street & State Street. Following the Fun Run/Walk, the Kids' Fishing Contest begins at 9:00 a.m. at the Kids' Fishing Pond. Next the focus moves to the grounds of the Newcomb Community at 8th Street & State Street for many fun games such as horseshoes, water balloon toss, Tug O' War, etc. A noon meal is served by donation at 12:00 p.m. followed by drawings for donated gifts, and more games, then ice cream for all.

The Pitkin Melodrama and Pitkin Day are the main fundraiser for the Pitkin Historical & Community Association, a non-profit which owns the Newcomb Community Center in Pitkin.


Beginning on July 11, Pitkin has had a Century Link DSL Service outage in some areas. It seems to be the South end of town but extends up to Sixth Street. Century Link is working on it. If you call them, they may extend credit to you for the days that you have not had internet service. Their phone number for customer service is 1-855-423-8743.


If anyone has anything they would like for me to include in the next issue of All About Town, please email me at and I will be more than happy to write something up.

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