Coslett known as shoemaker with compassion

By Laurie Stone: PNT Correspondent

Hugh Coslett lived life serving others. He was most known for his craftsmanship with footwear at Oscar’s Boot Shop.
He died Jan. 23, 2005.
Bernice Coslett, Hugh Coslett’s wife, said her husband did a lot for people that had foot problems.
“He was a very hard working man that was devoted to his work,” Bernice said. “But he was especially helpful to people that had a need for shoes that were customized to fit them specifically.”
She said her husband had met a man in Clovis that had cut his feet off in a combine. Hugh made the man a pair of shoes from a fence post, enabling him to walk.
An employee that worked for the Cosletts at Oscar’s Boot Shop for nine years, Sandy Newsom, said Hugh was a gentle man that spoke very little unless you were interested in knowing how to make shoes. Then he would open up and reveal his ingenuity.
“He made my husband and me a pair of boots which we love,” she said. “We still talk about Hugh but it’s because he was good at what he did.”
Hugh Coslett was born on Aug. 7, 1912, in Okmulgee, Okla., to Ollie and John Coslett.
He grew up in Oklahoma and moved to Portales in 1939. That same year, he married Claudine Dickenson. During World War II he served in the Army.
Upon returning from the war, Hugh began working at Portales Hardware and later at Skinners where he helped in making saddles and boots. Eventually, he went to work for his uncle at Oscar’s Boot Shop and later took over ownership. He was in business almost 50 years before he retired.
After the death of his first wife Claudine, he married Bernice Urton on May 10, 1976. Hugh was an active member in the Veterans of Foreign Wars organization, the Roosevelt County Mounted Patrol the Odd Fellows Lodge and attended the Third and Kilgore Church of Christ.
Bernice said her husband loved to hunt and go fishing. Two of his greatest fishing buddies was L.W. Muffgin and Woody Woodward.
“They went to Mexico many times on hunting trips,” she said.
According to Bernice, her and Hugh’s relationship was unique. In their 28 years together, they never quarreled.
“We enjoyed each other,” she said. “One of our favorite things to do together was ride around in the country and look at the crops. Hugh enjoyed it because he liked to see how things were growing and maturing.
“He was very pleasant and compatible.”