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Orangeville Native Retires from the Utah State Parks

By COREY BLUEMEL
Staff Writer

Charlane and Kean Luke, visit with their son Blaine Luke, and his wife Marianne at Blaine's retirement celebration at the John Wesley Powell River History Museum in Green River.

Blaine Luke retired from the Utah State Parks service after nearly 28 years of service on Dec. 31, 2003. A celebration was held in honor of his service on Dec. 11, 2003 at the John Wesley Powell River History Museum in Green River. State parks employees from across the state participated in the tribute.

Cortland Nelson and Gordon Topham made the first presentation to Luke. Nelson gave a brief history of Luke's work assignments. "Blaine's first assignment was in Goblin Valley. The family would stay out there in the summer then move back into Green River for the winter. After several years, he was moved to Dead Horse Point. He was there for a while then he was moved back to Green River where he has been ever since. Blaine has taken care of Goblin Valley and has overseen the building of the golf course at the state park here in Green River."

"Good luck to you Blaine in whatever you choose to do now," said Topham. Both men presented Luke with a plaque that had pictures of his post class, the badges he wore over the years and the belt buckles that were part of his uniform.

Tim Smith of the Moab office said, "Blaine has been involved in the off highway vehicle program, the Green River and Goblin Valley state parks and the construction of the golf course. He is very community oriented, has had many church jobs, has helped coach the high school basketball team and the golf team. His dad Kean, hired me when he was with the state parks, so I know this family and I have enjoyed knowing and working with these guys." Smith also acknowledged the state park groups from around the state that took part in preparing the luncheon.

Green River Mayor Glen Dale Johnson remarked that, "Only a few times in your life you get the privilege to work with someone you admire. I've had that opportunity for the past six years."

Emery County Commissioner Drew Sitterud said, "Emery County is proud of Blaine. He has given his full service to Emery County. Thank you and congratulations."

Luke himself said, "It's been a wonderful 30 years. I appreciate all my friends and family who have supported me for so many years. The community has been great to us all. Everyone makes me feel like a special person. Thanks for coming. My supervisors over the years have been more like friends, and that's how it's supposed to be."

Luke stated that he will be spending more time at Joe's Valley. The family has interests in the Sportmans Lodge there, and he will be making some improvements. He will be traveling back and forth for a few years as his wife will continue her teaching job at Bookcliff Elementary.





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