2023 Lamar Days Royalty, George and Anna Mae Gotto

Rick Robbins Presenting Certificate to George Gotto with May Gotto at right



Mae (Anna Mae) and I met at CSU in 1964 and as she describes it, she brought me home to Prowers County for new blood.  We were married November 27, 1965, the happiest day of my life. I enlisted in the Army in December of 1965 and began my military career at Fort Bliss in El Paso, the most frightening day of my life, and graduated from boot camp eight weeks later (the proudest day of my life).  After advanced training I was sent to Germany.  Mae was finally able to join me and we lived in Germany for about two years.  Our first year of wedded bliss we were together just over four weeks and I am convinced that is the secret of our marriage lasting for 58 years.

George Gotto

Upon completing my enlistment, we returned to CSU and I completed my degree and graduated in 1970 with a degree in zoology.  Mae was ready to come home by this time and told me that she and our son George IV would be in Wiley and I could join them there and thus began our lives in southeastern Colorado.

I began my career as a civilian as the manager of Brown Lumber Co in Wiley, eventually moving as manager to their store in Lamar (an auto parts store now fills that spot).  Dudley Curry and Don Currell bought Brown Lumber and I was one of the fixtures that went with the business.  The lumber yard became BMS and I remained there over 20 years mostly as general manager and vice president.  Mr. Curry and Currell allowed me to buy into the business as I was able.

During this time Mae was doing what she does best, nurturing our growing family.  We had added two daughters: Sarah Adele and Anne Katherine and our niece Genevieve Bachman had come to live with us.  Unfortunately, it took me a long time to realize what a remarkable woman I had married.  Mae is a wonderful mother and homemaker and now a fantastic grandmother.  In addition to managing our home and family she had obtained a position with the U.S. Postal Service.  Mae was with the post office for over 40 years; most of the time as Post Master.  (yes I said Master, Mae says she is no ones Mistress).  In addition to home and work Mae is a member of the Wiley Rosette club, PEO, Wiley Methodist Church, has been a bell ringer, class sponsor, several bridge clubs, was a school board member for 16 years, serving as chair for 3 years.  Finally, after 58 years Mae spends most of her time taking care of George.

Gotto and Clausen

Times and situations change and after 20 years I moved from the lumber business into the concrete business, becoming General Manager of Valco Inc. (now Northside Park).  I loved the big equipment and making holes that filled with water.  With the exception of the pond by the Hwy 50 bridge the other ponds were dug while I was manager.  One summer we replaced the runways at the airport pouring over 50,000 cubic yards of concrete.  Exciting times.

In about 2002 I was approached about becoming a commercial lender for Colorado East Bank and Trust (now TBK Bank).  I accepted a position as a commercial lender and V. P.  I loved the banking business and retired from CEB&T after 13 years as President of the Lamar Branch.  CEB&T merged with TBK shortly after I retired.

Our years in Prowers County have been wonderful, Mae and I love this community and being participants in life here.  We are honored to be recognized in this manner.  Along the way, I spent some time as Wiley Mayor and trustee, 20 years, Wiley School board 16 years, PMC director 16years, Rotarian 33 years, Lions Club, Elks, Eagles, Lay speaker for UMC, Lamar Chamber of Commerce Humanitarian of the year 2021.

How Most Area Youth Know Him

This will be my 40th year as Santa Claus, starting before I turned white headed and used shoe polish to color my beard.  I don’t know how many children I’ve seen but in the last ten years between 15 and 20 thousand, approximately 2,000 per season, all without any charge for the entertainment or visits.  I’m now seeing children and grandchildren of my original kids.    All children should be able to sit in Santa’s lap without concern of cost.  Some people and organizations insist on paying and I suggest they make a donation to a local charity, and hospice seems to be a favorite.  Don’t know why it’s so hard for some folks to accept with just a sincere thank you.  We all need to learn to receive graciously as well and give generously.    Have worn out several suits over the years, think I have six or seven now.

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