Two powerhouse women, one known fondly only as "Miss June" and the other Judy Noyes, who with husband Dick was behind beloved Chinook Bookshop, were honored Tuesday with Citizens Project Divine Awards at Stargazers Theatre and Events Center.
A legacy of Citizens Project founder Amy Divine, the awards focus on those who are making a community strong, promoting equality, protecting individual freedoms and respecting differences, said executive director Kristy Milligan.
Milligan said both women were the giants from the modernized Isaac Newton quote: "If I have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants."
"Miss June" Waller, basking in the smiles and cheers of her family including daughters and sons-in-law, six grandchildren and 13 "great grands" as well as longtime friends and supporters, was called one of the first activists many speakers had encountered locally.
Jim Saul said his friend is about "doing, not just talking." Together they work on a project to help young people of color become teachers.
Her daughters said their mother teaches people and her own family to be comfortable in their own skin and to thrive in their individualism.
Waller is closely connected to "Savvy Seniors," the transportation issues affecting those in the city, homeless issues, the League of Women Voters, District 11 Foundation, NAACP and Colorado Black Women for Political Action, and she attended the Center for Creative Leadership twice in two different decades.
Cleaster Marchman called Waller "a warrior for the quality of life for all people in the community." For Henry D. Allen Jr., president of the local NAACP branch, "Miss June" is a guiding light. Look at a map of bus routes, he said. Today there is a new Powers Boulevard corridor bus in the southeast "because of Miss June."
Dick Noyes accepted a Lifetime Achievement Award in the name of his late wife, Judy, but Richard Skorman said it belongs to both Dick and Judy because they did everything together. "She would have enjoyed being here," said Dick.