Janet Swank Union
Janet has lived in Commerce city for 69 years and brings a lot of early history to our Society. She is co-owner of Norm’s Printing since 1982. She was co-editor/publisher of the Commerce City Beacon for 21 years. She is in the rental business and served as Secretary of the Margaret Swank Family Partnership for a number of years. Janet is a member of the Rose Hill Grange, the American Legion Post 151 Ladies Auxiliary, is a past president of the Commerce City Business and Professional Association and has been a member since 1980.
She loves and collects antiques and is married to Norm Union.
E.E. CASEY HAYES
(Ellis Elmo Hayes)
Casey was born February 19, 1928 in Dexter, Iowa.
His mother was a Housewife and his Father was a brass band conductor, printer, piano tuner, and musician during the depression. He had one half-brother who is deceased.
Casey graduated in 1945 at the age of 17 and traveled to Denver for the dry air which was supposed to be beneficial to asthma, which he started suffering from at the age of 16.
He started working at the Pullman Company as a temporary Office Messenger. He later started with the Rio Grande railroad as a Student Switchman, which involved night work. In February of 1960 Casey was elected to the Town Council (Commerce City) as Alderman.
In 1963, Casey married Marianne Lomonaco who became a teacher for School District 14. They have 2 children. A son, Michael and a daughter Mimi. They both graduated from Adams City High School. Casey and Marianne have 2 Grandchildren, Jenni Lei and Raeleen. Casey served on the South Adams Water and Sanitation District Board in the early 60’s. In 1970, Casey served with a group of 21 citizens who wrote the Home-Rule Charter. Casey was elected to the state legislature in 1973 and resigned from the Water Department and City Council.
In 1980, after being defeated in the Legislature, he ran for the Regional Transportation District Board and was elected. In1988 Casey took an early retirement at age 60 and returned to the City Council. In 1994, Casey served on the Stapleton Redevelopment Committee. He was elected Mayor of Commerce City, in April of 1999. Casey was involved with the SCFD (Scientific Cultural Facilities District) in 2000. In 2003, Casey ran for Mayor and lost his election to our current Mayor Sean Ford.
Casey is currently a member of many organizations and stays very active. Some of them include the T.E.V. Edelweiss Club, Commerce City Historical Society, Adams County Historical Society (founding member), United Transportation Union (over 60 years), The Denver Jazz Club, Early Ford V8 Club of America, and the Packard Club. Casey is currently an Advisory Board Member for the Commerce City Historical Society. Casey is an old car hobbyist. He has purchased and sold many antiques cars over the years. He still has a few prized ones left.
Thelma was born in Pawnee, Oklahoma in 1936, to Frank and Annis Felkins. Thelma is one of 13 children. The family moved from Oklahoma to Kiowa, Colorado in 1943. Thelma was ten years old when her family left Oklahoma (1946) and moved to Elizabeth, Colorado. She graduated from Elizabeth High School in 1955. After graduation Thelma moved to Denver and she worked at Hendrie & Bolthoff on 17th & Wazee as an Inventory Clerk. This is where she met her husband Don Cole. They were married in 1956 and they lived in Dupont, Colorado. Thelma and Don moved to 6850 Monaco Street in Commerce City, in 1972. Don was born at the Continental Refinery in the foreman housing. He worked at the refinery for 30 years and was on the South Adams County Volunteer Fire Department for 20 years. Don died in 1995. Thelma & Don have 4 children (Steve, Delores, Janice, and Annette), 11 granddaughters and 1 grandson and 16 great-grandchildren. Don and their four children and the 2 youngest granddaughters are graduates of Adams City High School (Erin, 2012 and Lindsey, 2014).
Thelma is now retired. In addition to Hendrie & Bolthoff she worked at Stapleton International Airport selling insurance, Gerry Baby Products, sewing and assembly, the Pepsi Center and Coors Field as a Gate Agent. Currently Thelma has a part-time House Sitting Business. Thelma is very active in the community. Throughout the years, she has volunteered her time with the PTA organization and Den Mother for the Cub Scouts for Dupont school. Thelma loves to bowl and has been on 6 Bowling Teams, and she is very involved with the Commerce City Senior Center at the Recreation Center and is a Senior Advisory Committee person. Thelma is a founding member of the Commerce City Historical Society.
JoAnn (Saurini) was born and raised in an area of Commerce City that is now referred to as Adams City. She attended Adams City Elementary, Adams City Junior High and Adams City High School, graduating in 1957. Joann worked at South Adams County Water & Sanitation District until she decided to further her education and went to Barnes Business College where she studied accounting and business. JoAnn was a stay at home mother for their 5 daughters until 1983. With the girls all in school she then went to work at the families Precast Concrete Company and worked there until it was sold in 1997. She was the President of the Corporation for 10 years and also served on the Denver minority business committee. In all, JoAnn and her husband Richard owned and operated this business in Commerce City for over 30 years. She is now retired and lives in Reunion, with her husband of 55 years.
Over the years, JoAnn has been involved in several civic projects such as leading a committee to stop the city of Commerce City from ever having jails, pre-parole facilities, mental facilities or medical waste facilities without a vote of the people. Most recently she served on the board of directors of the South Adams County Water & Sanitation District, as President for 6 of the 8 years that she served. She is currently serving as an Advisory Board Member for the Commerce City Historical Society. Joann’s personal “most exciting thing” that the CCHS accomplishes each year since we started, is that we honor the people that have made a profound and lasting impact for Commerce City.
We have built partnership relationships with many entities in Commerce City, including the City. We are very involved educating our citizen in the rich history of Commerce City.