Fred and Yolanda Saltus pose in front of the sand sculpture of the Super
Bowl XXXII logo at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego where the Denver
Broncos beat the Green Bay Packers 31-24.
By Nancy Koontz; photos courtesy of the Saltus family
Forever partners through thick and thin, Yolanda (Yo) and Fred Saltus treat their Castle Pines Village neighbors with kindness, graciousness and caring. They are a like-minded couple who have been married for 53 years and who have lived in Castle Pines Village for 20 years.
Fred, who originally hails from Springfield, Massachusetts, was born while his father was flying missions out of England with the famous Eighth Air Force “Masters of the Air.” The family was later assigned to Kindley AFB in Bermuda where the family enjoyed the island paradise while their father flew missions. After four years in Bermuda, the family spent five years on Long Island, and then they moved to El Paso, where Fred met his bride-to-be.
Yo was originally from El Paso, Texas. She met Fred when he transferred to her high school after his family moved there following his Air Force father’s reassignment to Biggs AFB. After dating during their senior year of high school and a year at Texas Western College, they were married. Fred joined the Air Force, and he was assigned to Lowry AFB for technical school. Yo continued her education at Temple Buell College in Colorado. Upon graduation, the couple spent three-and-a-half years at Minot AFB in North Dakota. A subsequent transfer returned them to Lowry AFB, where Fred spent several years as an instructor in fighter systems. After retiring from the Air Force, Fred went to work for the then-called Public Service Company of Colorado, and he retired from Xcel Energy after 32 years in a variety of technical and management positions.
In 1972, Yo went to work for the Denver Broncos and was there to see three different owners; the Phipps Brothers, Edgar Kaiser, and Pat Bowlen. As Pat Bowlen’s executive assistant, Yo was on the boards of various charities, including the Girl Scouts, Special Olympics and the Colorado Relay Classic. She was also the first woman president of St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation.
Yolanda and Fred Saltus with the Broncos first Lombardi Trophy from Super Bowl XXXII.
Yo was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease 10 years ago, but she doesn’t let that stop her from maintaining a zest for life and an unwavering positive attitude, which is contagious. Two-and-a-half years ago, she underwent deep brain stimulation (DBS), which took place in three stages, and she has to have the generators replaced every two-and-a-half years.
Some of the best memories Yo and Fred have are traveling to many places to attend the American Bowls with the Broncos, which were a series of NFL pre-season exhibition games held around the world. They were able to attend games in London, Tokyo, Barcelona, Sydney and Berlin, among other places. As it is with their entire Broncos experience, they have many fun stories to tell about their adventures and travels. Yo noted, “There are so many facets to running an NFL football team, most people would be surprised with how much goes into it!”
When I asked Yo and Fred what they thought was the secret to “wedded bliss” after all these years, Yo replied, “Being respectful and supportive of each other.” Fred, with his great sense of humor added, “separate bathrooms!”
The Saltus’ are living their lives to the fullest, and agreed, “That’s what everyone should do!” As far as the Parkinson’s, Yo won’t let the disease hold her down. She wants to give others who have the disease some inspiration and said, “Never give up – you can still live a normal life!”