Crestline’s 2024 Citizen of the Year – Jerry Renfro

Jul 3, 2024 | Special Section

Jerry Renfro, Crestline’s 2024 Citizen of the Year.

By RHEA-FRANCES TETLEY

Staff Writer

Jerry Renfro – a 40-year resident and good neighbor to all – has been chosen as the 2024 Citizen of the Year. He has been offering a helping hand to others, living the Golden Rule every day and being an excellent role model to the youth he has coached since he moved to the Crestline community.

Cowboy Angel and now Citizen of the Year Jerry Renfro in his skid-steer loader that has dug out many people, cars and roads during many years of winter storms. (Photos by Rhea-Frances Tetley)

Cowboy Angel and now Citizen of the Year Jerry Renfro in his skid-steer loader that has dug out many people, cars and roads during many years of winter storms. (Photos by Rhea-Frances Tetley)

His lifestyle exemplifies the perfect mountain neighbor, described by those who nominated him as a “cowboy angel” because he always is seen wearing a cowboy hat and always helping whenever needed, riding the roadways, stopping and helping those he comes across who need it year-round. He never accepts any tips or payments because “that just isn’t him.” He does things out of the kindness of his heart. “He aways puts others’ needs ahead of his own,” said one of the 37 Crestline residents who nominated him.

Jerry saw a need in 1998, when he became the assistant softball coach at Rim High School. Besides motivating the players and helping the teams win, he renovated the fields, putting in dugouts, prepping fields and more, using his own skid-steer loader and donating materials and time.

As a good neighbor, he recently drove a cancer patient weekly to chemotherapy for months and has willingly done other such personal assisting. During 2023’s winter blizzards, he kept the roadways cleared in his neighborhood with his skid-steer loader until it finally broke, and he drove to get food from Stater Bros and necessaries at Rite Aid for those who couldn’t get out.

He saved a family snowed in without electricity as their doors only opened outwards and the snow was higher than the doors, so they were stuck inside. They put a sign in their only showing window that said, “HELP, trapped inside.” Jerry dug through the berm and then brought them and their cats back into his own home to warm them up and fed them for days. 

Things like this would never be possible without his supportive wife, Paige, a retired teacher from Valley of Enchantment Elementary School. She began her 30-year teaching career in 1988 at Mary Tone Elementary School.

Jerry Renfro has spent decades making the Crestline community a better place to live, without ever seeking any attention to himself. It was the nominations of over three dozen residents that has assured the Crestline Chamber of Commerce that Jerry Renfro is a wonderful choice as Crestline’s 2024 Citizen of the Year. 

 

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