CHESAW — For this year’s 81st Annual Fourth of July Chesaw Rodeo, the rodeo club is honored to announce the 2023 Grand Marshals, Bill and Jeanne Carroll.
The Carrolls have been married 56 years and are currently residents of Neptune Beach near Bellingham, Washington. Even though they live out of the area, they never miss an opportunity to come up to Chesaw and spend time in their cabin.
The two are long-time supporters of the Chesaw Rodeo, having donated generously to the club over the years. One of their contributions is the sound system still being used today, which they donated along with the rest of their family. Jeanne is a fifth-generation descendent of Chesaw homesteaders, dating back to the early 1900s with her great grandparents. Her great grandfather was the first rural route mail carrier in the area from 1909 to 1930. She says her family was forced to leave the beautiful Chesaw area in 1933 to care for her great grandfather, who had moved to Bellingham after being snow-blinded delivering mail in the Chesaw area.
In 1958, the family was lucky enough to come back to the area, buying a cabin directly across from the rodeo grounds that, to date, is currently shared between the Carrolls and the rest of the cousins; now into the eighth generation of the family. There is a long list of family members that have been chosen Grand Marshals for the Chesaw Rodeo, including her grandfather, Jack Trodden, in the late 1970s and her parents Alice and Jim Lafond in 2007.
“The Chesaw Rodeo Club is happy to honor Bill and Jeanne to show our gratitude for all they have done for our rodeo and the community,” said the club when it selected the couple.
The Carrolls are spending this special rodeo with their son, Randy Carroll, and his family. When asked what their favorite part of the Chesaw Rodeo is, they said “It is hard to pick just one thing, but the kids’ games are so fun to watch. We enjoy watching all the kids getting involved in the events!”