Gary Dwight Reetz

Born: Mon., Oct. 4, 1948
Died: Fri., Jul. 20, 2018


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The Reetz family lost a cherished member on July 20, 2018 when Gary Dwight Reetz, 69, passed away peacefully in his Woodland Park, Colorado home, surrounded by his loved ones.

 

Gary was born on October 4, 1948 in Fort Knox, Kentucky to Dwight and Evelyn Reetz. He was the youngest sibling and is survived by three older sisters, Joanne Lockwood, Karen Benjamin, and Vivian Dowey. His sisters doted on him, influencing him in the way only sisters can. 

 

Gary joined the USAF on October 20, 1967. He married the love of his life, Trudy Ann Dolehanty on December 23, 1971 in Germany. Their son, Brian Jon, was born while they were stationed at Bitburg, Germany. They enjoyed traveling in Europe and hosting adventures for family from the US.

 

Their daughter, Kimberly Lynn, was born in 1978 in Michigan. Following this time, Gary and his family enjoyed the military way of life, moving with assignments to Illinois, Hawaii, Montana, Florida, and Texas. 

 

Gary and Trudy would spend as much time as possible in Michigan and always looked forward to vacations and summers spent there with their large extended family.

 

Gary retired from the USAF on October 31, 1993 as a senior master sergeant, after 26 years of service. He inspired both Brian and Kim to serve active duty time in the USAF.  Upon his retirement from active duty, he accepted a position as the caretaker of The Air Forces Farish Recreation Area in Woodland Park, Colorado. As the caretaker, he helped military families enjoy fishing, camping, and hiking.

 

During his twenty years at Farish, he went above and beyond his job description, plowing roads for people in the winter and rescuing lost hikers in the summer. He was the kind of person to drop what he was doing and get out a topographical map if someone was in trouble. 

 

In his spare time, he pursued one of his true passions in life, hunting. Gary was an avid hunter and fisherman, skills he learned from his Uncle Charlie and Aunt Helen, growing up in Michigan. He spent many of his hunting seasons with the best of his friends, Jeff and Anne Bodin and Patts Eaton. They bonded over the seasons and didn’t always stock the freezer, but formed the truest of friendships.

 

Gary’s life was cut short by cancer, but his legacy will live on through his children and their spouses (Brian and Seema; Kim and Scott), and his grandchildren (Avery, Charlie, Ryan) of whom he was so proud. He and Trudy raised their children to always feel worthy and to find the joy in life. We will think of him when we are hiking in the woods, paddling down a river, swimming in the ocean or dancing with our kids. We will roll down our truck windows, turn up the radio and sing our hearts out, and we will remember Gary Reetz. We will think of how grateful we were to have you as our husband, father, grandfather, uncle, cousin and friend.  His optimism for life was punctuated when in his final moments, he told family:

My life has been a DREAM.

 
 

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Tonya Downey
   Posted Thu July 26, 2018
What beautiful soul that has left our world. My childhood was filled with sprinkled memories when we could see Uncle Gary and Aunt Trudy. If Gramma's house was too crowded, we were always thrilled to go stay with them! The love they showed us was bottomless.
He taught me to have confidence in myself and never ever give up. He taught me to water ski, and I will never forget his endless patience, but I finally caught on and I never lost that skill.
He always made everyone feel like they were the most important person in his world. That is such a magnificent trait.
I wish I could find words to say how deeply sorry I am that you have lost such a wonderful man in your life, but I can say that he was so very very loved by so many.

Christopher Craddock
   Posted Thu July 26, 2018
Hello, my name is Chris Craddock. Im the grandson of Roger Craddock, Evelyns youngest brother. I just wanted to say how very sorry I am to hear of Garys passing. Reading his obituary it makes me extremely sad that I never got to know him. He seems like he was a real genuine guy and a true Patriot. Please accept my sincerest condolences.

Ann Wortman, Human Resources USAFA
   Posted Tue July 31, 2018
All of us at the 10 Force Support HR office at USAF Academy NAF are saddened by the passing of Mr. Reetz. He has provided great service to many at Farish since 1997. Gary was a great example to all in his dedication to customer service and the outdoors. He will be missed.

Sincerely - Ann Wortman and Staff

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