Inez Valdez is a life long resident of East Carbon. Her life began in Erie, Colorado. She is the third of seven siblings born to Daria and Bernardo Gonzalez. Her father was a coal miner at U.S. Steel Company and her mother a homemaker. Her family arrived here when the community was still in its development. Most of the homes were ready for occupancy with a stove, refrigerator, furnace and hot water tank but there were no sidewalks or yard fencing. The only business’ in town were Menotti General Store and the U.S. Post Office.
Inez attended Dragerton Elementary and Junior High and was then bused to Carbon High and Carbon College. She married the love of her life, Tony Valdez, and was blessed with four active daughters. At this time, our community was a thriving and a great place to raise a family and it gave them a solid foundation. Inez was active in supporting her daughters in their school and church activities.
In 1973, our city was incorporated and the name given it was “East Carbon City.” The new council installed the planning and zoning committee and Inez volunteered to become a board member in which she served 30 years until her resignation in 2003. In this experience, she learned so much about city operation and spent many, many hours in forming the ordinances that govern our city today. This has been a fascinating and invaluable experience for her. She has also served as a delegate for the democratic county and state conventions. She was an election judge for many years. She was also active in the American Legion Women’s Auxiliary supporting our veterans. Inez has also served as an advocate for those in need on various levels of support. She is the epitome of a “good neighbor,” whether it be helping them with resources, transportation and especially as an interpreter for the Spanish speaking. She has also been a sponsor for immigrants seeking citizenship.
When her daughters were grown, she became a substitute teacher at Petersen Elementary and enjoyed that for many years. She has remained active in her church Good Shepherd Parish, fulfilling many assignments and positions in her church work. She was also selected as this parish’s Catholic woman of the year. She found being a member of the Castleview Hospital Auxiliary (Pink Ladies) very rewarding and made new friendships. Of late, her family, which has grown significantly, her home chores and enjoying her many friendships is her life. Her family now includes, in addition to her daughters and their spouses, her nine grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren.
Inez continues to remain active and interested in her city government, attending regular city council meetings, supportive of the council and invested in her community. When asked what she loves about living in East Carbon, she said that she is grateful for the opportunity to have close friendships and the opportunity to help those in need