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Wilco Officials and Employees Share Family Holiday Traditions Oped by Commissioner Cook

I thank our Wilco family members for these wonderful stories, and I wish every Wilco official and staff, and you the reader and your loved ones, a blessed and wonderful Holiday Season!

  • 19 December 2019
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 261
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Wilco's Human Resources Director Rebecca Clemons' two children Cole (7) and sister Grace (14) stand in front of the family's tall Christmas tree.Growing up, my family always put up Christmas decorations the weekend immediately following Thanksgiving,” said Shawn Dick, Wilco District Attorney. “Our house was filled with the warm sounds of Christmas music as the family decorated.”

As a music aficionado, Dick said that his family passed down his grandparents’ record player cabinet and plenty of old albums to him.  “I begin each holiday season, much to the chagrin of my wife and kids, with the nostalgic playing of John Denver’s Rocky Mountain Christmas album as we decorate our tree.” 

Wilco’s Human Resources Director Rebecca Clemons said her favorite family tradition is their “Around the World Christmas Dinner” with her mother and extended family members.

The family has observed this tradition for 60 years since her mother was a child.

“We have all food, no gifts, but time together,” Clemons said. “Our favorites are Mexican food and Greek/Mediterranean. My Mom’s family is pretty diverse and loves to travel, so it is fun to share recipes from all over the world.”

Assistant Internal Audit Director Jolene Crist traces her roots and holiday recipes to her Slovakian ancestors from both sides of the family who settled in Montana in the late 1880s.

The Georgetown resident said these recipes included Bobalki, little balls of bread covered in honey and poppyseed, which were served by both of her grandmothers every year.

After they died, the tradition stopped until Crist tracked down the recipes. Crist even uses her grandmother’s grinder to grind the poppyseed as she makes Bobalki every Christmas Eve, to her Father’s delight. He and his wife visit annually from Montana.

“As for Christmas, we don’t mess around!” said Randy Barker, Purchasing Director. “In addition to the normal holiday side dishes, we have a long-standing tradition of grilling steaks for our Christmas dinner.”

“A fond family memory is the recollection of my father-in-law sitting outside in the freezing rain, grilling enough steaks to feed an army and loving every minute of it,” said Barker.

Since his father-in-law’s death in 2015, the tradition of preparing the steaks is continued by Barker’s son-in-law. “It is refreshing to see him take the same pride and satisfaction in grilling the main course that has been a part of our holidays for over 40 years.” 

Wilco Purchasing Director Randy Barker stands behind his son-in-law Mark Rogers grilling steaks for the Christmas dinner.

Asst. Internal Audit Director in the Wilco Auditor's Office Jolene Crist gathers with her family at home in front of their Christmas tree. Lf to Rt: Daughter Kaylee; Crist's Father Martin Halko; Crist; Crist's Mother Veronica Halko; Son Brandyn Crist; and not shown taking the photo is Crist's husband Lee Crist.

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