Lawrence (Larry) Elmer Velasquez (October 9, 1927 — February 19, 2018)
Lawrence Elmer Velasquez passed away at the age of 90 at the Colorado State Veterans Community Living Center, Rifle, Colorado, where he received extraordinary care surrounded by his family. Prior to moving to the Veterans Care Center in 2014, Larry lived in Glenwood Springs for many years before moving to Battlement Mesa in 1992.
Larry was born in Old Snowmass to Gregg and Rose Velasquez. After his mom passed away and his father left, he was raised by Blanche and Cap Prendergast at their ranch on Canyon Creek. He attended the little red schoolhouse on Canyon Creek for grade school and rode the bus to New Castle for high school. Larry graduated in 1946 and joined the U.S. Marine Corps. After his honorable discharge, he attended Michigan State University where he studied horticulture.
Larry married the love of his life, Barbara Jean Frieler, on February 18, 1950, at St. Stephen’s Catholic Church in Glenwood Springs, and they raised two sons. Larry’s many business accomplishments included owning Larry’s Frozen Food Center, a guide and outfitting business, and co-owner of the Glenwood Produce Company with Louie Prouty. Larry was the general manager for Hank Williams at the Rock-n-Pines Ranch, and was also the general manager of the Storm King Ranch. Larry’s commitment to service and volunteerism started with the military and continued throughout his life. He was a volunteer fireman, and he served on several boards, including the RE-1 School Board, the State Board of Social Services, two terms as Garfield County Commissioner, and president of the Resident Council at the Veterans Care Center. Larry had an extraordinary green thumb and loved gardening and growing roses.
Larry is survived by two sons, Gregg Velasquez (Theresa Zelenka) and Jeff (Vicky) Velasquez; two grandchildren, Jacob (Rebecca) Velasquez and Jennifer Velasquez (Isidre Baques); two great-grandchildren, Leo Lawrence Baques and Rory Steven Velasquez; sister Grace Gibson; step-brother, Jim Prendergast; and many nieces and nephews. Larry was preceded in death by his wife, Barbara, his parents, and three brothers, Carol, Arthur and Abe Velasquez.
Larry will be sadly missed by all who knew him. He treated everyone with respect, and worked hard to make life better for others. He will be remembered for his contagious laugh and never-ending smile. He loved his family and friends, and spending time at his Yukon Jack cabin on the Flattops.
A funeral mass will be held at St. Stephen Catholic Church in Glenwood Springs on Friday, March 2, 2018, at 10:00am. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Colorado State Veterans Community Living Center, P.O. Box 1420, Rifle, CO 81650 reference “Larry’s Flower Fund.”
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