My Name Is

My Name Is... Rachel Cogswell of Arvada

Accountant finds peace in caregiving and an outdoorsy life

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About me

I have always had a nurturing soul, and a strong desire to give back to those around me. I’m from California, and when I was young, my parents died in an automobile accident. No family around, I decided to move away after I graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles. While studying there I had two really great girlfriends, one from British Columbia, the other Colorado. When it came time to move, well, Colorado was closer, so here I am.

I first moved to Denver in 1970, behind Sloan’s Lake, where — at that time — I thought all the homes looked like little castles. I loved it there. Once here, I began working as a certified public accountant — I love figures. In my accounting days, I went to different businesses and helped them manage their accounts receivables and taught individuals how to perform collection calls.

Life and love

Originally, I said I’d only stay here for 10 years, but then my husband walked into my world.

A successful businessman, he kept climbing the ladder at his company and I loved it. We went to a lot of parties where I could get dolled up, wear makeup and jewelry. But his passion lay outside the business world, and in firefighting. After Arvada formed the Arvada Fire Protection District, he decided to become a full-time firefighter. He followed his dream, and it led me to fulfill one of mine.

A nurturing person, I always have enjoyed taking care of others. A few years into his career as a firefighter, one of the fellow wives asked for my help transporting seniors to church on Sundays. I happily agreed, and soon after I became a Certified Nursing Assistant and started work in the hospice center at Lutheran Hospital.

It takes a certain type of personality to do that work, because you’re meeting people in their homes, and giving them time where they can really talk. You’re an outsider, so they can tell you all their information, and at that time of life, having that means so much to them.

After doing that work for a few years, I decided to work for Visiting Angels. I have been with them for eight years and am so grateful for this job. It’s such a unique and sacred, I think, position to be in. You must respect and learn about the individual you’re visiting because you’re walking into their world and need to care for them in the way that they want and need.

In my free time

Outside work, I’m an outdoorsman. I hike, fly fish, hunt and participate in women’s handgun shooting competitions. I love to be healthy, and am very passionate about taking good care of myself.

You have to stay healthy — stay healthy for those who depend on you — and of course, my husband.

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