Colton Corner: Nolz family to keep gas station running
On Nov. 29 of last year, Robert (Bob) Nolz was involved in a fatal car crash. He had been a part of the Colton community for many years as he worked at Clyde's Colton 76 from the time he was a young man. We all thought of him as our friend.
After his passing, it was up in the air as to what would happen at the gas station, but his daughter Christina Amaya-Kluver stepped up to the pump. Along with David Anderson and her son Drake (when he is home from Eastern Oregon University where he is majoring in history), they are keeping the station and convenience store open six days a week.
Christina shares with Colton what the last weeks have meant to her and her family as she steps into her father's shoes. The following is a message to Colton from Christina.
"Growing up, our dad worked seven days a week to provide for our family with the gas station. From mechanic work to pumping gas, he greeted the Colton community for 49 years.
My younger sister, Mandy, was the only one of us three girls who worked there as a teen and later became the bookkeeper. When the tragic accident happened, my first thought was to keep it (gas station) going not only to support my mom but the customers of Colton. Being an online health and fitness coach, I have the ability to rearrange my schedule to make this happen. So, I stepped in to take my dad's hours so we could get the station up and running as soon as possible.
Over the years, my dad would brag about the Colton community. If my daughter needed a saddle, he knew a guy in Colton he could ask; when my sister needed a florist for her wedding, he knew a gal in Colton. We never knew the impact of such an amazing community until they filled the church in celebration of our dad, and I began serving them at the station. I'll never forget the love that filled the church that day! Colton is the most loyal community I've ever seen! They embraced us in our time of need! Colton Fire department brought tons of food to the service and longtime customers and dear friends of my dad's spent their Saturday cutting logs behind the station so my mom would have firewood this winter. Tons of customers have stopped in to give condolences and hugs and share a story or two about our dad.
Over the years when our dad made his way to the pumps, he genuinely cared how your day was and what you were up to. If you think about that...a simple smile and hello could change someone's whole day. A simple 'how's your day going' or 'where are you heading to today' could really show someone you cared. That's a true passion, purpose and a legacy I wish to carry forward in honor of our dad!
Our station is family-run with my cousin, David (Anderson) and I pumping gas and running the store, my little sister, Mandy, being the bookkeeper and my mom, Debbie, and sister, Amber, getting supplies and inventory. Our mission is to give the hometown feel just like dad did and to know that when you pull into our station you are more than a customer; you are a friend. I have enjoyed getting to know everyone that stops in! I have found comfort in the stories and memories the community has shared! And I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for embracing our family in this difficult time. I can't tell you the future of the station, but I know that I'll be out pumping the gas with a smile and a friendly hello in honor of our dad as long as I can and continuing his legacy!"
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.