Obituary: Gary Michael Watson
November 25, 1953 – January 26, 2022
Gary Michael Watson, 68, of Show Low, AZ passed away on January 26, 2022 holding the hand of his beloved, Ellarae, at St. Joseph Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, AZ. We in Grand Lake and Granby remember him as the caretaker of Lemmon Lodge for many years, for dependable handyman / maintenance work, installing Hot Lines, for helping people move, finding new homes for furniture and other items… What Gary and Ellarae have done for our communities goes on and on… We are very sad.
Gary was born on November 25, 1953 in Rock Springs, WY to James Patrick Watson and Shirley May Terry/Watson. He grew up and attended schools in Lyman, WY. After graduating from Lyman High School in 1972 he married Peggy Ann Gebhart on June 12, 1972. Together they had 3 boys, Gary Michael Watson JR(1972), Jeremy Brian Watson(1975) and Steven Cole Watson(1982). During this time Gary worked in the oil fields of Wyoming. They divorced on July 30, 1985 and Gary moved to Cheyenne, WY where he attended and graduated from Cheyenne Aerotech. While attending school in Cheyenne, WY Gary met and fell in love with Ellarae Shaw. They moved to Washington state in 1987 where Gary was hired by Tramco as an aviation mechanic. Gary and Ellarae were married on July 30, 1989 in Everett, WA joining together forces to raise Gary’s 3 boys and Ellarae’s 2 daughters, Tammy Rae Gange(1976) and Tanya Jean Gange(1977). In 1992 they moved to Grand Lake, CO and Gary began work there as a snowmobile mechanic. They transitioned to Granby, CO in 1993 and Gary successfully began working for himself as a General Contractor doing construction, remodels and home maintenance with Ellarae working by his side. In 1995 they brought into this world their daughter, Christina Nicole Watson. In May 2021, Gary and Ellarae chose to move to The White Mountains of Show Low, AZ where they had planned to retire and enjoy life away from the cold winters of the Colorado Mountains.
First and foremost, Gary loved and valued his family. He carried a deep sense of loyalty and made it a high priority to visit, call often, and always lend them a helping hand. He honored all things American, was very patriotic, and advocated for the continued freedoms of himself and his family. Gary enjoyed life to the absolute fullest. He worked hard and played even harder. He savored any time outdoors and craved beautiful mountain views and wildlife. He especially loved to hunt, camp, shoot guns, snowmobile, and ATV. He instilled the love of these activities in his children and grandchildren. Some considered Gary to be a bit “rough around the edges” but those closest to him admired his “straight shooting” demeanor and shenanigans. He was a sweet and generous man that loved to help others and he was always ready for a fun adventure. He will be remembered for all of these things and his smirk that was always present while he teased or shared a funny story or personal experience.
Gary is survived by his loving wife, Ellarae Watson of Show Low AZ; His siblings, Terry James Watson(Ada) of Fort Bridger WY, Wendy Lee Conder(Gary) of Lyman WY, Patricia Lynn Ellifritz(Jim) of Rock Springs WY, John Delaware Watson(Penny) of Lyman WY, Kevin Charles Watson of Casper WY; His children, Gary Michael JR Watson(Michele) of Idaho Falls ID, Jeremy Watson(Tami) of Driggs ID, Steven Watson(Holly) of Granby CO, Tammy Schafer(Mark) of Alliance NE, Tanya Seebohm(Tracy Stark) of Alliance NE, Christina Schmuck (Shane) of Clay Springs, AZ. He has 21 grandchildren, 5 great grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, James Patrick Watson & Shirley Mae Terry/Watson, and his sister, Lonette Kay Davis.
Celebration of Life will be held in Granby at Polhamus Park on June 4, 2022, from 1 to 5 pm.
In lieu of flowers condolences, cards, and monetary donations to go towards burial expenses can be mailed to:
1758 Malon Place
Show Low, AZ 85901
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