By Eric Norwood Jr.
PNT staff writer
The Roosevelt County Pioneer of the Year award is a prestigious honor that is given to the longest tenured members of the county. Winners are recognized at the Roosevelt County Fair by the Pioneer’s Association. Two awards are given, one to a single person, Evelyn Cater this year, and one to a couple, Bennie and Donna Victor for 2013.
“We love Roosevelt County,” said Donna Victor. “There are lots of good people. We’ve known them for years and we all support each other.”
Bennie Victor was born on Oct. 2, 1929, and attended school in Dora. While at Dora, he also played sports.
“I really enjoyed baseball, and I played basketball as well,” Victor said. He graduated in 1949 and married Peggy Ross after his junior year in 1948.
They had two daughters, Dwayla and Reita. Victor worked as a farmer and rancher, and ran a dairy. Peggy died in 1995 after 46 years of marriage.
Donna J. (Luker) Victor was born on July 19, 1933, in Braumfield, Texas. She moved to Dora in 1944, and graduated from Dora in 1950.
“She played volleyball,” said Bennie Victor. She married Oscar Duncan in 1950 in Dora and together they ran a dairy and were farmers. They had three children, Chris, Nelda, and Linda.
“Our children grew up together and were best friends.” said Bennie Victor.
Donna Victor’s first husband Oscar died in 1992 after 42 years of marriage.
The Victor’s knew each other in high school and after they were married, the two couples were best friends. They were married in December 1996.
“This was something that we never thought of or was ever planned,” said Donna Victor. They have five children, 14 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren between them.
In 2010, the Victor’s built the Red Barn Farm just west of Portales were they now live together.
“This is a great place to raise your kids,” said Bennie Victor.
“We are honored to be Pioneers of the Year,” added his wife Donna.