I am a former resident of Chaffee County, frequently visit and still have friends throughout the county. 

Why did I leave? Ask my wife.

I just read with great sadness, the passing of rancher and friend Joe Cogan. 

While Joe may not even remember me by this time (he probably would), I would not have been one of the great impacts on his life, but he was on mine.  

Joe had a way in communicating with anyone and one could tell, Joe had the respect of everyone around him, everyone that knew him.         

Being a retired law enforcement officer, I was interested in volunteering for the North End Chaffee County Search and Rescue volunteers where I found many friends, Joe being one of them.  

I had several reasons for becoming a member of that elite group of men and women, one being I was very interested and the other being a newby to the mountains, I wanted to learn all I could about the Colorado mountains on land and from the air.  

Well, I choose the best place to learn because I met Joe and others who knew every peak, nook, cranny and drainage.   

Joe treated everyone with interest and respect and anyone needing to know where to go to find out something, they went to Joe.  

That’s what I did many times and likewise when Joe had a question he listened, he was interested and attentive in what you had to say.

I don’t know if search and rescue still has it or where it is, but I researched, organized and made a binder of search and rescue history that went back to about day one of the organization, (it was around 1997). Joe was mentioned in some of them.  

I got some thank yous for that project but Joe Cogan’s interest and comments were the most notably honest and sincere, he made it all worthwhile. And there were other times.

My sincere condolences to the Cogan family, Chaffee County has lost a great man, a great historian and more.  God is with you Joe, rest in the peace you deserve, God bless.

Captain Ed Hayes (ret)

Olatha, Kan.

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