In the community

Vale Alumni Association announces hall inductees

A local business owner, a former sheriff and a well-known family will be inducted into the Vale Hall of Fame this fall, according to the Vale Alumni Association. 

This year’s inductees include Brian Wolfe, former Malheur County sheriff, Sarah Rodriguez, owner of Luzetta’s Flowers, and the Buxton family, longtime Vale residents and former farmers in the area.

The 7th Annual Vale High School Alumni Association Hall of Fame banquet is slated for Saturday, Oct. 26, at Four Rivers Cultural Center in Ontario. The event will kick off with a no-host happy hour at 4 p.m., followed by dinner at 6 p.m., according to Bobbi Buttice, an event organizer. 

The Buxton family moved to Vale from Utah in 1952, according to attorney Bob Butler, who nominated the family’s 10 children. All attended attended Vale High School. 

Lured to Vale by “promises of cheap land, good irrigation water and a climate that would be conducive to their farming operation,” the Buxtons were a family “who worked hard to “scratch a living out of marginal farmland,” according to Butler’s nomination. 

Butler added that the six boys, Delos, Max, Dwayne, Bill, Boyd and Gary and four girls, Susan, Sharon, Jolene, and Carol, had to spend nearly all their efforts keeping the farm going and supporting their families. Butler wrote that each child attended the Vale school system, and almost all graduated. 

Over the years, Butler wrote, the children had successful careers while four served in the military. One, Delos, was killed in the Vietnam War, according to Butler. Butler wrote that eight of the Buxtons attended college, with two earning doctorate degrees. The seven Buxtons still alive today have “openly given credit” to Vale schools for the successes in their lives.  

Sarah Rodriguez, longtime owner of Luzetta’s Flowers and Gifts at 168 A St. E. in Vale, was nominated by Iran Trenkel with help from Shannon Steele, an English teacher at Vale High School. 

Trenkel wrote that Rodriguez is “outgoing, friendly and dedicated to her community.” 

In high school, Rodriguez worked with the former owner of Luzetta’s. When she bought the business in 2008, she moved it to the current location in Vale. Using a beautification grant, Rodriguez painted the business building and put up a new sign up. 

From employing local high school students to teaching wreath making during the holidays and providing boutonnieres and corsages for the high school’s homecoming court, Trenkel wrote that Rodriguez is very “community minded.” 

“She is a planner, a mover and a shaker,” Trenkel wrote. 

Wolfe, a Vale High School graduate and Malheur County’s 15th sheriff, was nominated by Gertie Delong. 

Delong wrote that Wolfe, who retired as sheriff last year, volunteers at several community functions, mentors both the “young and old” and is generous with “time and money.”

Respected in the community, Wolfe was the county’s sheriff for over a decade before stepping down last year, she wrote 

Buttice said tickets for the event are $50 per person, or a table for eight is $400. She said tickets are going fast and can be purchased by calling Buttice at 541-823-2900 or by email at [email protected]

The Buxtons, who moved to Vale in 1952 from Utah, included, back row, from left, Susan, Alta, Joe, Sharon, Jolene, Carol and Delos, killed in the Vietnam War. Front row, from left, Max, Dwayne, Bill, Boyd and Gary. (Contributed photo)
Sarah Rodriguez, owner of Luzetta’s Flowers and Gifts was among a slate of inductees into the Vale Hall of Fame. (The Enterprise/File)

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