Bock and Rosene retire after each puts in more than 30 years of public service |

Bock and Rosene retire after each puts in more than 30 years of public service

Commissioner Merrit Linke congratulates Sara Rosene on her retirement after serving as county clerk and recorder for over 30 years. Jolene Linke will become clerk in January, 2023.
Grand County Government/Courtesy Photo

Two of Grand County’s most essential public servants, coroner Brenda Bock and clerk and recorder Sara Rosene, are retiring after their terms end this January. Each woman has served the county for over 30 years. During the Dec. 6 board of county commissioners meeting, commissioners Merrit Linke, Richard Cimino and Randy George recognized the women for their unflinching dedication to their duties, even amid challenges and disasters. The commissioners approved Resolutions 2022-12-01, recognizing Bock, and 2022-12-02, recognizing Rosene.

Bock honored for ‘offering solace’ to families and first responders

Cimino read the resolution to Bock, stating the county “expresses its deepest gratitude and appreciation to her for a job well done.”

Bock began her career more than 35 years ago, as a first responder and EMT with Grand County Emergency Medical Services. During that time, she also volunteered as a part-time deputy coroner.

“Brenda carried out her duties with great compassion, and has shown an amazing capacity to emphasize with and comfort those who have experienced the death of a family member, friend or loved one,” Cimino said.

Bock’s service didn’t end at deputy coroner. In 1993, she became certified as a Colorado death investigator through the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators. She became a full-time deputy coroner in 1995, then was named chief deputy. She was elected as the Grand County coroner in 2006.

“Brenda has served in a key role in the county’s first response family, offering solace not only to families who have suffered life-altering loss, but also to deputies and other responders,” Cimino said. “She has brought a sense of calm and stoic leadership to often tragic and chaotic scenes.”

Bock served as president of the Colorado Coroners Association from 2006 through 2020. She was also a legislation committee member, in charge of certifying all the coroners and deputy coroners in Colorado.

The Grand County Advocates recognized Bock’s integrity — she won the 2013 Officer of the Year Award for her support in combating domestic violence and sexual assault in the county.

In September of this year, she was awarded Patriot of the Year during Grand Lake’s 10th Annual U.S. Constitution Week for her efforts seeing “the county through COVID-19 pandemic and was committed to fighting toe-to-toe at the state level for accuracy in pandemic-related death reporting,” Cimino said.

Cimino continued, thanking Bock for ensuring that families receive closure after a loved one’s passing, whether she was providing grieving children with teddy bears in her office, or heading into the field to the scene of an accident.  

“Brenda has danced with death in all of its many forms … she has retrieved decedents in every weather condition Colorado can throw at her, using snowmobiles, sleds, ATVs, helicopters and horses,” he said.

Rosene recognized for over 30 years as Grand County’s clerk and recorder

After all the commissioners expressed gratitude for Bock, Commissioner Randy George then gave special recognition to Sara Rosene.

Rosene has worked as county clerk and recorder for over 31 years, overseeing the election process with accuracy and integrity, as well as providing community services, such as filing birth and death certificates, issuing driver’s licenses and more.

In 2021 she received the National Association of Secretaries of State Medallion Award “for challenges during the 2020 general election, which included a global pandemic, a forest fire and rampant election disinformation,” George said.

Thanks to her dedication, every vote was counted that election.

“While the East Troublesome Fire raged, Sara and her staff collected ballots out of a drop box in Grand Lake which had been evacuated and made sure the voter service and polling center in Granby remained open for early voting despite a constant threat of evacuation,” said George. “Sara’s leadership ensured that Grand County voters could cast ballots during an unprecedented natural disaster.”

George also commended Rosene for her work in 2021 to protect fragile historical documents entrusted to the clerk’s office. Rosene led a grand-funded project to digitally record and preserve historical documents dating from 1874 to 1978.

“Many of Grand County’s historical documents contain fragile pages and handwritten entries dating back nearly 150 years,” George said. “Through Sara’s dedication, approximately 64 books were digitally scanned and indexed.”

During the meeting, Rosene was credited with spearheading the effort to make Grand County one of the first counties in the state to accept credit cards for motor vehicle registration. She also ensured the driver’s license office stayed in Grand County when the Department of Revenue tried to move it out, taking on additional work for the community without adding more staff.

“She’s helped staff from municipalities and special districts through countless elections and filings over the years to help them better understand the deadlines and changes in process that happen,” said George. “For new staff and seasoned staff that don’t work through (the clerk’s office) regularly, she’s never said, ‘you can’t.’ She simply says, ‘we need to.’”

Rosene has also been part of many organizations. She’s been the chairperson of the County Clerks/Election Staff for the Help America Vote Subcommittee, member of the board of directors and crisis volunteer with the Grand County Advocates, past president of the Kremmling Rotary Club, board member of the Grand County Historical Association, president of Colorado County Clerks Association, and chair of the Colorado State Title and Registration System. Many of these roles have brought her to the state capitol.

George said that during Rosene’s seasoned career, she has seen six U.S. presidents, five Colorado governors and nine secretaries of state, including all the changes that have come with this.

“Sara has been one of the most constant and reliable fixtures in Grand County government and deserves only the best in her long-awaited retirement,” he said.

Commissioner Merrit Linke congratulates Brenda Bock for her decades of service as Grand County coroner. Tawnya Bailey, current chief deputy coroner, will become coroner beginning January, 2023.
Grand County Government/Courtesy Photo
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