There will be no formal service at this time, to protect the safety of our loved ones and friends.
Gary Brooks Earl, a Colorado farmer and rancher, died in Porter Hospital on April 7, 2020. He died of kidney failure, after a few weeks in the hospital.
Gary was born in Lamar, CO on April 12, 1939, to Thelma Lee Miller Earl and Kenneth Brooks. Gary’s father past away when he was six months old. When Gary was three years old, his mother married Carl Earl. Carl adopted Gary and his name became Gary Brooks Earl.
He grew up in the small community of McClave, CO, where he exceled in sports and FFA. He also loved farming on the family ranch.
He received an associate’s degree in Animal Science at Lamar Community College, where he participated on the livestock judging team. He continued judging livestock when he went to Colorado State University. Here, he met Nancy Pickering of Kremmling, CO. They were married in December of 1962. Six months later, Gary joined the National Guard and trained at Fort Sill, OK for six months; he completed six years of service. He joined the Guard because two uncles were offering farms to rent. While he regretted not serving the country in active service, we feel that he left the legacy God intended by pursuing his passion of starting his own farming and ranching operation. The Guard was a large sacrifice to him as he lost access to precious water and struggled to plant and harvest crops on time. Even through this, he was proud to serve his country.
When he returned from his training, Gary and Nancy began their own farming/ranching operation in McClave. Monty was born in 1965, Brenda in 1967, Mindy in 1971. The family worked together to support the farm, which Gary loved. He built a cattle feedlot, raised and fattened lambs, and farmed alfalfa, wheat, milo and corn. Gary was also active in the community, serving on the school board, ASC committee and others. During these years, he loved supporting his kids with their 4-H and FFA projects. He loved helping his children select their show steers, sometimes from his own herd. After several county champions and good showings at the state fair, we knew he was pretty good at selecting the right ones. His passion may have gone too far when Gary removed the air conditioning unit from the house to put in the barn for the 4-H steers!
Another highlight for Gary was that he got to travel nation-wide to watch Monty wrestle in college; he was very proud of Monty and the determination it took to get to that level in wrestling.
John Roesch and Dad were life-long friends and talked on the phone every week. Later in retirement, John and Trudy travelled with Mom and Dad to Hawaii and Branson and took several bus trips with other folks from Southeastern Colorado. He spoke less often to his friend, Dick Yates, but was so proud of the Yates’s success in the rodeo and proud to call Dick a friend. There are so many friends in McClave that Dad held dear. These are friendships that stood the test of time.
In 1993, Gary and Nancy sold the farm in McClave and moved to Wray, CO. Sadly, also in 1993, they lost their daughter, Brenda Earl MacLennan, in a horse accident. Brenda had gotten married to Scot MacLennan in August of 1993, then died a few months later. The MacLennan family is still dear to our family. Obviously, this was a life changing event; Mom and Dad relied on faith and family to get through the tragedy.
In Wray, he ranched and farmed for the next 27 years. After the sale of that property, Gary kept active helping other farmers; he even bought a tractor that he could use or help others with. He loved driving Steve Akey’s swather and help with the Brophy corn harvest; when he was in the hospital, he hoped that he would be able to do that again. He was active in the Wray Lion’s Club. He loved cooking hamburgers and pancakes for community events and fundraisers; he also loved helping with the local health fair. The local Lions Club nominated him for a humanitarian service award, which the National Lions awarded him. He made many friends and very much enjoyed the Wray community. Mom’s nephew, Rance, lives in Wray. Dad was close to Rance all his life and living close to him was one of the big bonuses of moving to Wray. Rance was always good to help in so many ways, not to mention bringing food like his amazing posole, potato soup and green chili.
He loved teaching his grandchildren to drive and various things on the farm like feeding bottle calves. Later, he very much enjoyed traveling to Denver to watch them play hockey. Linnea and Lars have made him very proud and are amazing in their accomplishments. Both were very close to him and loved to come visit during summers and holidays. Though not his blood, he also welcomed Mindy’s stepson, Bailey, with open arms. Bailey is carrying on Grandpa’s legacy as he is always inviting new kids to youth group and is currently working on a ranch. He was very proud of his grandchildren.
Gary loved and enjoyed his family and was an amazing friend, husband, father, uncle, and grandpa. He is survived by his wife, Nancy; son Monty (Camilla), their children (Lars and Linnea); Mindy (Alec), their son (Bailey); his sisters, Carla Boettcher and Sharon Goldman and their families; numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.