Gary Michael Spahr was born to the Rev. Keith Wayne and Norma Jean (Rutledge) Spahr in Loveland, Colorado, 12 July 1954, and passed away peacefully at Cheyenne Regional Medical Center on 1 Feb 2023. He was a graduate of Fort Collins High School and recently enjoyed attending his 50th high school reunion. As a student, he sang in multiple choirs and ensembles, played the baritone in marching band and symphonic orchestra, and played piano at home.
Following graduation in 1976 from Colorado State University with a degree in Business/Finance, Gary moved to his much-loved adopted state of Wyoming. He pursued a banking career at Cheyenne National Bank, where he met Kathy, his beloved wife of 41 years. When banking no longer suited him, he obtained a real estate broker’s license and bought his own real estate company. His motto was, “Just be nice.”
With their mutual love of dogs evident, Gary and Kathy decided to raise and show pugs, which led to traveling the country to attend dog shows. Gary was active in the Cheyenne Kennel Club, the Rocky Mountain Pug Dog Club, the Pug Dog Club of America, and the National Exchange Club, serving in many official capacities.
In high school, Gary bit through his lip while jumping on a trampoline, then sported a mustache for the rest of his life to cover the scar. As a young man, he enjoyed golfing, Putt-Putt golf tournaments (record score of 21 on 18 holes), softball, bowling, bungee jumping, rock climbing, cliff jumping at Horsetooth Reservoir, and white-water rafting (yes, he fell out on occasion). He was fearless.
Gary loved Vedauwoo Climbing Area, Water World, Cheyenne Frontier Days, warm weather, travel, and, especially, the standard Wyoming greeting: “Howdy.” He made excellent pizza and chocolate chip cookies. He was a humble man with a deep personal faith. He loved his family and was protective, supportive, and responsible. Growing up, he wanted everyone home before too late; he preferred no one be away overnight. From a young age, he cared for his mother when she was alone/widowed, until her death.
As a teen, Gary embarked on a lifelong battle with type 1 diabetes, forcing him to develop more sedentary interests in his later years. He continued to enjoy raising pugs but also expanded his activities to include numismatics, sudoku, and television. He loved life and fought hard to live cheerfully and well.
Gary was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived, and mourned, by his wife, (Kathleen Desch) Spahr of Cheyenne, WY; twin sister Janet (Ed) Bigler of Loveland, CO; sister Diane (Roy) Shaw of Loveland, CO; sister SarahJean Tracy of Grand Junction, CO; brother Daniel (Kim) Spahr of Torrington, WY; brother Terry (Shelly Sudia) Spahr of Stone Mountain, GA, and a vast extended family.
A Celebration of Life will be held later, when the weather is warm, as Gary would want. In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes donations to the American Diabetes Association and the Cheyenne Animal Shelter as expressions of sympathy.