Lee A. Mestas (Lt. Col. Us Army, Retired — February 19, 1918 – October 15, 2017)
Lee A. Mestas passed away on October 15, 2017, at his home in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Lee was born on February 19, 1918, in Fort Collins, Colorado, to Ramona and Frank Mestas. His family settled in Collbran, Colorado, during the 1930s while his father worked on the ranches in the area.
Lee and Peggy Carrington were married in Collbran on January 12, 1943. In 1945, after returning from duty in World War II, Lee, Peggy and young son Gerald moved to Glenwood Springs. There the family grew to include son Dennis and daughters Judi, Robin, and Debra.
Lee entered the US Army in March 1941 and served at many Army bases including Fort Benning, GA, and Schofield barracks in Hawaii. He was promoted during the first two years of duty to First Sergeant and was selected to attend Officer Candidate School. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in April 1943.
Lee was very proud of his service in the Army and received many awards for his actions in the European Theater of Operations during the Seventh Armored Division’s battles through Normandy and into Germany, including the Silver Star. On his 92nd Birthday he published his book “Poking Around with the Seventh Armored Division,” which chronicled many of his exploits as he and his fellow soldiers in the 87th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron helped lead the Division into Germany. After his return, Lee remained active in the local Army reserves and was retired from the Army with 30 years’ service in 1972 as a Lieutenant Colonel. He was a member of the American Legion for more than 50 years.
Lee was always a rock hound and this led to the founding of High Country Gems and Minerals that he and Peggy owned and operated in downtown Glenwood Springs for more than 25 years. Lee enjoyed hunting and fishing in the area and also traveled to Alaska more than three dozen times to fish with his sons and grandson.
Lee’s passing was preceded by his wife of over 60 years as Peggy passed away in 2001. Lee will be interred in Rosebud Cemetery with Peggy. Private services will be held at a later date. Lee is survived by his sons and daughters, and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank the doctors and staff at Valley View Hospital and staffs at Hospice of the Valley, Columbine Home Health and Grace Healthcare for their kind and caring assistance to Lee during his later years.