Oregon Trail Days Old Settlers is celebrating its 100th celebration this year.
Named Old Settlers Vice President is Jan Scripter of Gering. Jan and her husband Tom moved to the area in 1969 and raised five children in Gering.
Jan said she was born on a ranch in South Dakota and attended school in Valentine, Nebraska. That’s where she met her future husband, Tom.
After high school, Jan attended Hastings College and majored in music, focusing on piano. Over the years, she’s enjoyed giving lessons and she still plays for her own enjoyment.
Jan and Tom eloped after Tom was discharged from the U.S. Navy. Of their five children, four families live in the area and one family lives in Colorado.
Jan and Tom were married for more than 62 years when Tom passed away in 2019.
The couple moving to Gering from North Platte in 1969, Tom operated his own insurance agency and owned and managed rental properties.
“It was through Tom that we met Jack Lewis and Mick Reavis, who were very involved in Oregon Trail Days,” Jan said. “We also got involved and participated in many of the activities.”
Jan was a two-time runner in the Don Childs Memorial Run and also served as one of the judges in the kiddie parades.
“I ran the Don Childs Run two years in a row with my friend Kathy Van Pelt,” she said. “We were both in the 60 and over division and she always beat me.”
In addition to the Don Childs Run, Jan has participated in the Bolder Boulder three times and several 5K runs in Kimball, Harrisburg and other areas.
“For about three years I was active in running, which I really enjoyed,” she said. “One year I went to O’Neill, Nebraska, for a run and to Norfolk.”
As the children got older, Jan had more time to get involved in a number of activities. Keep Scottsbluff-Gering Beautiful was one of the organizations where she was involved for about 10 years. Jan said that although it was a part-time job, she enjoyed it a lot.
She played many times for her home church, First United Methodist of Gering and was active in the women’s group.
“I was flattered and surprised when I learned I’d been elected Old Settlers Vice President last year,” Jan said. “I’d always admired those that went before me, so I must have had them on a pedestal. I couldn’t believe it when I was chosen.”
Jan added that now she looks forward to seeing the children of her friends as they return for Oregon Trail Days and class reunions.
Jan will officially be honored as Old Settlers Vice President when the group’s activities get rolling again as the community celebrates the 100th anniversary of Oregon Trail Days.