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Gary Clyde Coulter was born June 4, 1934, in Glenwood Springs, Colo., to Harlen and Ruby (Snyder) Coulter. He passed away at home, surrounded by family, on Dec. 15, 2013.
Gary grew up on a dairy farm in Collbran, Colo., and after high school started his flying career.
He learned to fly from Betty Clark, a crop-duster in Rifle who was also a member of the World War II Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). He began his flying career at Meeker and took over as manager of Meeker Airport in 1959.
For 54 years, Gary operated the airport and established Coulter Aviation, providing charter services, aerial spraying and aircraft maintenance. On May 30, 2009, the Rio Blanco County Board of Commissioners recognized Gary for providing 50 years of dedicated aviation services to the residents, businesses, and visitors of Rio Blanco County. Gary was also recognized that year by the Aeronautics Division of the Colorado Department of Transportation for 50 years of dedicated service to aviation in Colorado.
In 2010, the Colorado Agricultural Aviation Association presented the Outstanding Service Award to Gary for his dedication and contribution to the Colorado agricultural aviation industry. He received the “Charles Taylor Master Mechanic” award on Dec. 1, 2011, from the Federal Aviation Administration. On Nov. 30, 2013, the airfield at Meeker Airport was named Coulter Field to commemorate the huge influence and positive impact Gary had on the Meeker Airport and aviation in Colorado.
He served on many boards locally, regionally and nationally and was instrumental in constructing the Meeker Chamber of Commerce building.
Gary loved to fly, spend time on his boat at Lake Powell, fish, fly model airplanes and spend the winters in Mesa, Ariz. He was blessed to have a career that fulfilled all of his dreams. A celebration of Gary’s life will be held in early summer 2014, followed by a scattering of his ashes.
Gary and Relda were married on Nov. 23, 1963, in Las Vegas, Nev., and recently celebrated 50 years of marriage. Relda survives in the family home. Also surviving are his children, Jeri Allen, Alan (Cheryl) Coulter, Lanny (Danette) Coulter and Samantha (Mike) Lopez; 11 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; a sister, LaWana (Drew) Dickey; his special aunt Betty McDonald; and many cousins, nieces, nephews and dear friends.
Memorial contributions can be made to Hope West Meeker or the Marvine Cancer Fund, c/o Pioneers Medical Center, 345 Cleveland St., Meeker, Colo. 81641.