FORT GARLAND — Gary D. Pettigrew loved his family, his dogs and his yard and, on Jan. 30, 2020, he unexpectedly left them when God called him home.
Born Sept. 8, 1957 in California, Mo., to Harold Glenwood Pettigrew and Helen Coleen Scott Pettigrew (Hoit), he moved to the San Luis Valley as a young adult and became part of the community of Fort Garland, marrying Debbie Medina in Fort Garland at Holy Family Catholic Church on May 8, 1976, joining the area’s pioneer families.
Skilled with his hands and mind, he worked as a mechanic, becoming an employee of the Sierra Grande School District and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT); and built three homes for his wife and children, sometimes learning along the way, such as when he built his own solar panels.
When his children left, he and Debbie built their retirement home high in the hills east of Fort Garland. Gary joined the Costilla County Fire Protection District as a firefighter eventually becoming an elected board member, doing whatever was necessary to keep the area safe, including tireless efforts battling the Spring Fire.
In retirement, he helped his community, his family, friends and his neighbors, serving the protection district and becoming a member of The Friends of the Fort.
He loved the outdoors, hunting, fishing, RVing, being with his dogs and especially spending time with his children and grandchildren, often preparing special meals.
When his son, Lucas, enlisted in the U.S. Army, Gary watched and supported him and his family as he spent 20 years in the military, traveling to visit him wherever he was stationed. To him, each member of the family was deeply loved and individually excellent.
People near and dear to him were mentioned by Gary on his Facebook page, which shows his caring nature, patriotism and love for the mountains that cradled him at the end.
Surviving and missing him dearly are Debbie, his wife of 43 years and his life partner, Fort Garland; daughter, Larissa Pettigrew, Pueblo; son, Lucas (Mandi) Fort Garland; sister, Carol Niland, Broomfield; brother, Robert (Wendy) Hoit, Brighton; grandchildren, Chase Pettigrew, Aurora, Deja Pettigrew, Fort Garland, Garrick Pettigrew, Fort Garland, Danee Cowles, Pueblo and Darin Lucero, also of Pueblo.
His German Shepherds, Kona and Ruger, also mourn.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Harold Pettigrew, Helen Hoit and stepfather Donald J. Hoit.
Cremation was chosen.
A rosary will be recited at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, at Holy Family Catholic Church in Fort Garland
The funeral mass will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 8 in the same church with inurnment in the old Fort Garland Cemetery on the Trinchera Ranch.
Escorts will be his children, Larissa and Lucas Pettigrew. Honorary pallbearers and escorts will be members of the Costilla County Fire Protection District.
To leave online condolences or words of thought, please go to Romerofuneralhome.com.
Arrangements are entrusted to Romero Funeral Home in Alamosa.