Linda Hiatt's Web Site
My parents, Dallas C. Hiatt and Mary Virginia Savidge met when they were in the US Marine Corps. My father, being just back from the Pacific Front (see ruby stone.net/videos), married Virginia after he finished optometric school in Illinois.
I was born on February 20, 1948 at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, but shorty after my birth, my father seized upon the opportunity to work in an optometric practice in La Junta, Colorado.. By the time I was six months old, and encouraged by my aunt and uncle who lived in Durango, my father, Dallas C. Hiatt, bought his own optometric practice in Durango.
My parents rented several homes in Durango, but two most memorable were a small home behind Brown’s Market, now a 7/11 and the larger home on Thomas Avenue. My sister Judy, brother Barry and sister Mary were all born at Mercy Hospital; for all four of us the town of Durango was like a nurturing parent. We walked or rode our bikes wherever we would or could in those days. Our school was only a half mile away from our home; the down town area was less than three miles away. Saturdays Judy and I might be found at the theater watching “Jailhouse Rock” or “the Creature from the Black Lagoon.” Or we might have been found at the outdoor or indoor swimming pools, eating BLTs with our babysitter, Janie Silver, or playing at the fish hatchery. Janie taught me how to ride a bike when I was six, and after that Durango was my playground.
My mother Virginia was in and out of the hospital with mental illness many times during my early childhood, and she passed away when I was twelve years old. At the same time, my father Dallas had purchased a new practice in Cherry Creek in Denver, and after that Christmas and my mother’s funeral, we made the sudden and very dramatic move saying goodbye to Durango and hello to the big city. The transition was not easy; we went from a small school to a huge school, from a small town to a large city. Fortunately, my beloved grandmother Mary Savidge moved with us and made that first year bearable.
Because his practice in Cherry Creek was successful, Dad built a home in Littleton, and we moved there the following summer. We enjoyed that new home and the schools and were making progress adapting until one night when I was thirteen Dad asked, “How would you girls like a new mother?” Dad married Charlotte Stevenson shortly thereafter, and we went from a family of four children to a family of seven children. I was the only child who did not have a same aged sibling: Judy and David, Barry and Jon, and Mary and Kevin.
Realizing that the home in Littleton was too small and the neighborhood too cramped for three girls and four very active boys, Dallas and Charlotte moved us again , this time to Evergreen. They built a beautiful home there which backed acres and acres of open space and then forest land, so we had lots of room to roam. We all have a special place in our hearts for Evergreen.
I graduated from Evergreen High School in 1966 and went on to Colorado State University for four years, graduating from CSU in 1970.
Education and Career
CSU and Upward Bound
My CSU experience was indeed memorable. In my sophomore, junior and senior years I was selected to be a Resident Assistant for my floor, and because of that experience, I was also selected to be a counselor with the federal Upward Bound program. This program helped very bright disadvantaged youth prepare for college.
After graduation from college, I was selected to be in the Teacher Corps on the Northern Indian Reservation in Montana. This program rewarded me with my MS in Education and helped me to understand the needs of the American Indian communities. It was while in Teacher Corps that I met my first husband, Dennis Roach. We lived in a trailer in Lame Deer, and I taught art, Kindergarten and 1st grade in the Lame Deer Elementary School. After the two year Teacher Corps program ended, Dennis and I were on the move: travels in Mexico and Central America, a brief time in Carpenteria, CA, where I had a job as a tester against bias and discrimination in the public schools, South Lake Tahoe where I had my first real teaching position, Billings, back to North Lake Tahoe. In all Dennis moved us over twelve times in seven years; he had a knack of finding unique and rewarding jobs for me.
My son, Stefan Christopher Hiatt, was born on April 29, 1977 at Barton Memorial Hospital in South Lake Tahoe. Dennis was not cut out for monogamy or fatherhood, and the marriage was dissolved in 1979.
Upon moving back to Colorado I was able to re-establish my teaching career in Douglas County where I taught for over thirty years at Parker Junior High, Ponderosa High, and ThunderRidge High. I was fortunate to be able to teach Art and specifically Drawing and Painting and Advanced Placement Studio Art in the last eight years of my career—a very happy change for me.
I married my second husband Richard Davies in 1980, and Stefan and I moved into Willow Creek in Englewood, Colorado. but the marriage was not happy and was dissolved in 1987. However, I was able to purchase the home from Dick so that Stefan and I continued to live in Willow Creek until my son was off to college.
In 1988 I met Lewis Rubenstein who became a trusted and faithful friend, and after thirteen years of friendship, we married and have remained in a happy, loving marriage for twenty years. We lived primarily in Roxborough Park, a beautiful southwestern home overlooking the red rocks. We had so many happy days there with our faithful dog Truman, an Australian Shepherd.
While in Roxborough I retired, and then I reestablished my passion for painting, a love which has continued through my life. Lew and I hiked, biked, and learned to play golf and traveled. Lew, a Lockheed Martin engineer, also retired and continued his enjoyment of programing websites and software development, often consulting for small businesses.
Our families have meant so much to us through the years; Stefan married Katy Edney in 2006 and then welcomed my two beautiful granddaughters Isabella and Hattie into the world. We have also had visits from Lew’s children David and his family, Julia and her family, and Carolyn and her family throughout the years. Lew’s son Michael lives closer by here in Colorado, so we are able to see him and his wife more often. In all, we have eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
My sisters and brother and stepbrothers and their spouses have all remained very close, in proximity as well as in spirit. Lew and I consider them all to be our very best of friends.
In 2018 I purchased a home in Gypsum, Colorado to be closer to Stefan, Katy and the girls who had moved to Eagle, CO. We had thought to keep both homes, but we realized how much we love the life here in this small community in the mountains, and so Lew sold the Willowbroom home in 2020. We are happy here riding our e-bikes, hiking, taking Colorado mountain day trips, golfing, soaking in our favorite, the Glenwood pool, and spending time with family and traveling.
All in all, a blessed life, indeed.