Family and friends are invited to gather at the La Veta United Methodist Church at 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, for the funeral of Gary Paul "GP" Anderson, who left his earthly form in the early evening hours of Oct. 24, 2019, following a brief illness. Following the service, Gary will be laid to rest in the La Veta Cemetery
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Gary was born Dec. 30, 1951, in Dallas, Texas, to James Franklin Anderson and Jeanette Gleason Anderson, both of whom were waiting to greet their son in Heaven.
Gary is survived by his brothers, Kevin Anderson, of Pueblo, and James Ronald "Ronnie" Anderson (Kathy), of Toole, Texas, and their children; his soulmate of 25plus years, Sandra Coma; life-long best friend and brother-from-another-mother, Les Kennedy; and his four-legged children, Bubba and Gypsy.
Gary grew up and attended school in the Dallas area. After a couple of years at North Texas State University, Gary went to work with is dad at Continental Parts.
Gary was very proud of his father, who served as a U.S. Navy pilot in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater during World War II and who was stationed Guadalcanal.
In about 1980 or so, Gary was drawn to the mountains of Colorado and fell in love with the Cuchara Valley.
Over the years, Gary lived in many locations throughout Huerfano County, but he poured his love and sweat into a home in the Shangri-La subdivision below the East Spanish Peak. joining Gary in the construction of his dream home were Les and Sandra, Russell Keeling and Larry "Little Larry" Cammack, among others.
Many a party was held on the porch of Gary's warm and welcoming abode, where you could reach out and practically touch the mountain that towered over it.
Heartbreakingly, the home-and many of Gary's most precious belongings- were destroyed in June 2013, in the East Peak Fire. Thankfully, Gary and Les- with the help of a Huerfano County sheriff's deputy- were able to make t out safely and just in time.
Following the fire, Gary Les and Sandra- known as the "Three Musketeers" - purchased and remodeled a house in Pueblo West: the las place on earth that Gary would call home.
Gary was renowned for his culinary talents and was often referred to as the 'Czar of BBQ.: For many years, his smoker could be spotted at many events in Southern Colorado, including the La Veta Oktoberfest, where Gary would donate the proceeds from the sale of his famous brisket and pulled port offerings to the La Veta High School Science Club, which was led by long=time friend Pat Keeling.
Gary was also known for his photography skills. His collection of rock concert photos-which included Janis Joplin, Pink Floyd, ZZ Top and many others- was destroyed in the East Peak Fire.
One of Gary's good friends was Clyde Jones (aka the Rev. Clyde). Gary was a regular attendee of the infamous gathering that became known as Clydestock. Many of the regular participants of that annual congregation have since left their earthly bounds and were undoubtedly waiting for Gary to join their ranks in Heaven.
Family meant everything to Gary. The love between him, Kevin and their parents forged the kind of soul we all came to know and love. If you were a friend of Gary's, you should count yourself lucky. His passing has left a hole in the fabric of the Cuchara Valley.
The friends and family of Gary extend their gratitude to Sangre de Cristo Hospice and Palliative Care and the Staff at Joni Fair Hospice House, who took great care of Gary during his final hours.
Love and appreciation also go out to Julie Fairman-Gary's friend and widow of Doug McLain, one of his favorite people- who was Gary's side, and to Greg Strong who was with Julie and Gary via speaker phone, when he traveled to the next world.
The last words Gary spoke were to Sandra, and they were, "I love you."