Former Granby mayor dies at age 86
Jerry Woods, the former 12-years mayor of Granby and a former Grand County commissioner, died on Monday, Jan. 20, at the age of 86.
Woods served as the mayor of Granby for four terms from 1972 to 1984, during which he became widely popular for his bipartisan approach to political issues in the area as well as his dedication to the community and his ability to understand and get along with nearly every community member, according to those who knew him.
Some might remember Woods flipping pancakes for the Fraser Valley Rotary Club or driving International tractors he loved to rebuild, but Woods was most well-known as the local “beer guy,” operating the Coors distributorship in Grand County for 45 years
“There would be times he would show up at the ball fields with a keg because he was the beer guy,” said Monica Fuqua, a friend of Woods for more than 25 years. She considered him a mentor to her and her children.
“As a young kid, I remember going and taking cans to him and him putting them on the scale to weigh them,” Fuqua said. “He always had a smile on his face and was always happy that we collected the cans and were getting money for them.”
While Woods was widely known as the “beer guy,” he was also well respected for his dedication to the community he represented for 12 years.
“He always listened to everyone’s opinion,” Fuqua said. “He didn’t have his own personal agenda, but he worked for the good of the community as a whole. It was always about what was best for the community.”
Woods’s effort to listen to opinions and his constant dedication to doing the right thing was passed down to his son, Martin, and daughter, Dana.
He taught them to “understand people and to listen to people,” said Martin Woods, who lives in Salida with his wife, Betty. “You don’t always have to agree with them, but you need to listen to them and understand their point of view. You can get lot done in life that way.”
His son remembers traveling extensively in the southwest with his father to places like the Grand Canyon, where they rafted the Colorado River. He also recalls taking the family Jeep into numerous mountain ranges in the southwest.
What interested Woods was the history of the southwest. Woods’ wife, Betty Jo, shared in his passion for history and taught Grand County History at Middle Park High School. She died in 2006.
Woods would load students in a van to take them to Native American ruins and numerous other historical landmarks in the southwest in the name of history education, Fuqua said.
Woods also put his own stamp on history by serving in the Navy for both World War II and the Korean War.
He was an active member of American Legion Post 88, serving as the commander in Grand County. His involvement in community organizations didn’t stop at the American Legion, as he was an active member of St. John’s Episcopal Church as well as an enthusiastic participant in the Granby Kiwanis Club.
The former mayor will be remembered for his dedication to the community and his long career serving the community he cared about, but for those who knew him personally, it was Woods’s smile and his humble, trustworthy, and honest personality they will remember most.
A service for Woods is taking place at 1 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 30, at St. Johns Episcopal Church in Granby.
Reid Tulley can be reached at 970-887-3334
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