Lifelong member of the Pea Green Community, Gary Dickerson, passed away in his home on September 2, 2019, surrounded by family.
Born half a mile south of the former Pea Green Store, Gary was the only child of Wilber and Nora (McClanahan) Dickerson. He helped his father with farming, attending the country school of Fairview. He rode his horse back and forth to school, saying “I was on the back of a horse when I was three or four years old and have ridden all my life.”
The first he remembered seeing his future wife, Peggy Fraser, was when she was in seventh grade at Pea Green and the schools were playing ball against one another; however, it took Peggy a little longer to notice him.
“The first time I noticed Gary was when I was in eighth grade and he came riding down to Pea Green on his horse with a couple of other boys. I thought he was the best looking cowboy I ever saw!”
Gary attended Olathe High School where he played both football and baseball, graduating in 1952. He was also an active member of the Pea Green 4-H Club.
Gary and Peggy were married on February 28, 1954 in the Olathe Baptist Church parsonage with pastor Roy Jones officiating. They celebrated 65 happy years together this past February at the Pea Green community hall, surrounded by neighbors, friends and their large family who delighted in watching them dance on the same floor where they experienced their first dance, oh so many years ago.
Gary had a start on his cattle herd, owning 40 head at the time of their marriage. The first four years were spent living in a small house on his parents farm, before moving to their current home in 1958. There they welcomed two sons, Richard and Robert, and one daughter, Rebecca. Over time they were blessed with seven grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
In 1970 the Dickerson’s were able to obtain a grazing permit in the 25 Mesa area of the Uncompahgre Plateau, as well as deeded land complete with a cabin. Gary increased his herd and to this day the entire family enjoys time together on the mountain. Gary felt great contentment with the fact that his ranch will stay in the family and that long-time family traditions and values will continue.
Pea Green 4-H Club continues to be very important to the family, now into the third generation. For 20 years, Gary served as a leader; Peggy served for 15. Gary also played men’s fast-pitch baseball and coached women’s softball.
Throughout his life, Gary and Peggy loved watching and attending PBR events. Among other things, they traveled to Cheyenne Frontier Days, the Denver Stock Show and the American Rodeo in Texas.
If at all possible, Gary never missed his kid’s, grandkid’s or great-grandkid’s sporting events, 4-H events or gymkhanas. He found it important to have his own iPhone and to know how to use it, texting or calling to check up on the kids if he wasn’t able to be there.
He was a man with simple wants, yet very adventurous. He was small in stature, but tough as nails. He was gentle in nature, yet had the heart of a lion when loving and protecting his family. His comfort zone was the back of a horse as well as the seat of a tractor or atop an ATV.
He loved snowmobiling, fishing—even traveling to Hawaii and old Mexico for deep-sea fishing—hunting (oh, the stories!) jeeping, playing cards (pinochle) with friends and making his famous “grasshopper pancakes” at the cabin. He still did that this past Fourth of July.
Gary’s church was the great outside, especially the mountains. For 18 years, his special dog Jake accompanied Gary each morning when he went outside to talk with God. Gary loved and appreciated the sunrises and sunsets, living where they were unequaled.
Gary was preceded in death by his parents; survived by his wife Peggy; sons Richard (Florence) Dickerson and Robert (LeaAnn) Dickerson of Olathe; daughter, Rebecca (Jerry) Allen, Olathe; grandchildren: Jacob (Sommar) Dickerson, Heather (George) Bayles, Brian Dickerson, Angel (Jack) Sharpe, Stephanie (John) Shull, Amber (Tim) Cox and Christina (Josh) Berry; great-grandchildren: J. R. Shull, Cooper Shull, Riley Shull, Wyatt Dickerson, Logan Dickerson, Tyler Dickerson, Kaitlyn Sharpe, Rowdy Sharpe, Alyssa Bayles, Aylin Bayles, Mason Berry, Addalee Berry, Haley Cox and Mackenzie Cox.
Services, conducted by Delbert Smith of Ridgway, will be held in Gary’s honor on Saturday, September 7, 2:00 p.m. at the Taylor Funeral Home and Crematory, 682 1725 Road, Delta, Colorado. Cremation has taken place.
Contributions may be made to HopeWest Hospice, 725 S Fourth Street, Montrose, CO 81401.
View the internet obituary at taylorfuneralservice.com.