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Our View: Thumbs up to lives well-lived, a talented artist, a rad rodeo rider and Carroll County’s first baby of 2020

THUMBS UP: We recently wrote a pair of featured obituaries on citizens who were quite important to their communities. While their deaths are reason to mourn, not celebrate, we give thumbs up to both for lives well lived. Jack Coe, 79, served New Windsor for 60 years. The town’s longtime water and sewer consultant died the day after Christmas. The New Windsor High School graduate, who served in the United States Army from 1963 to 1965, was involved in New Windsor in multiple ways, not only as water and sewer consultant, but also as the owner of DP Smelser and Son Inc., a printing company he started with his wife, and as a life member of the New Windsor Fire House and Co. No. 1. His son, Thomas Coe, told us, “I like to think of him as Mr. New Windsor.” Mayor Neal Roop described Coe’s death as “a tremendous loss to our community in so many ways.” Westminster had suffered a tremendous loss on Christmas Day, when Paula Cook died at 62. The Westminster native was a mother of three, but acted as a parent to many, many more. Cook fostered more than 190 kids from Baltimore over the course of 13 years until she stopped in the mid-1990s. “She loved helping kids and giving kids a chance that didn’t have a chance,” her son, Blake Brown, told us. “No matter how long she got to keep them, just being able to influence them and being able to have a positive influence on the children.” She also worked as a substitute teacher and participated in a foreign exchange student program. Both will be missed.

THUMBS UP: For the second year in a row, Kristen Landsman’s art work was chosen to grace Carroll Community College’s holiday card in the school’s annual contest. This year, her work portrayed two children sledding in the snow. The Westminster native became the first CCC student to win in consecutive years. “My artwork was inspired by the many times during my childhood when I would go sledding with my brother and cousins over the holidays,” said Landsman. “We shared a lot of laughs. Those moments are some of my fondest memories.” Landsman, a third semester visual arts major, is a 2018 graduate of Delone Catholic High School. She expects to graduate from Carroll in fall 2020 and transfer to MICA or a similar college to pursue a career in art, according to the release. “The candidate pool for the 2019 Holiday Card contest was exceptional. Kristen’s submission stood above the others again this year,” James D. Ball, president of Carroll Community College, said.

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THUMBS UP: Hampstead 16-year-old Kegan Mayo recently spent a week in Nevada compete at the Junior World Finals Rodeo in the Las Vegas Convention Center. The Manchester Valley High School junior has been riding bulls since he was 10 and placed 21st out of 30 competitors in his age group, finishing first in his age group out of the Northeast competitors. Young bull riders hailed from all over the United States, plus Canada, Australia, and Mexico and the Northeast region included Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Ohio. Mayo qualified for worlds in September when he earned “reserve champion,” or second place, at a local competition. “It’s just an opportunity you have to take,” Mayo told us. “I felt pretty good considering I placed top in my age group out of everyone from the Northeast that was there.” As well he should have.

THUMBS UP: The first baby of not only the year but also the decade was born at Carroll Hospital at 1:12 p.m. on New Year’s Day. Proud parents Daniel and Katherine White named their baby boy Isaac. And they had, in fact, considered that he could earn the distinction of Carroll’s first-born of the 2020s. “When we knew the due date was Jan. 3, we definitely were thinking, ‘What if he came on the first and was the first baby?’” Daniel told us. “It was more like a joke. We didn’t actually think he would. But then we were surprised we were the only baby [on Jan. 1].” In fact, Jan. 1 was already a special day for the White’s. It was the day of their first date, at the Westminster Turkey Trot 5K. They were married in 2014 and now are parents for the first time.

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