Garfield “Gar” Brown was killed in an airplane crash Sunday flying with his best friend, Chris Hall, over Horse Mountain Ranch near Wolcott.
Gar was born Garfield Russell Brown to his parents, Philip Garfield Brown and Nancy Greer Brown, in Minneapolis on April 27, 1944. He was an Army brat during the time his dad served as a lieutenant colonel. They lived in army bases across the United States and France, finally settling in Lake Minnetonka, Minn. He graduated from Minnetonka High School in 1962.
Gar’s first appearance in Vail was the summer of 1964 with his best friend, Roger LaCroix, to work construction. In early 1965 he went to Pensacola, Fla., and Corpus Christi, Texas, to enter the Naval Cadet Flight Program. Upon finishing flight training he attempted to get a commercial pilot’s job with a major airline. At that time, Vietnam veterans were returning with more flight hours and experience, so Gar took a job at the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper as an advertising sales rep. He met his wife, Maggie, while working at the Star Tribune and attending the University of Minnesota night school. Gar and Maggie were married in November of 1969 in Minneapolis.
In the fall of 1971, Gar and Maggie made the move to Vail, “just for a year,” after visiting Roger LaCroix several winters to ski and attend another friend’s wedding. The length of his residence in Vail lasted 41 years.
Gar is survived by his wife, Maggie; daughter Lindsay Weiss and her husband, Erich, and children, Taelyn and Avery; son Peter and his significant other, Elissa Banker. He is also survived by his older sister Marcia Wingert and her husband and children.
Gar loved flying with Chris, riding his Triumph Thunderbird and taking his boat to Lake Powell. He loved the outdoors and enjoyed years of camping, Jeeping and hiking in the mountains with friends and family. He will be missed dearly but will live on in our hearts. The family has not decided on a memorial service date at this time. In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to the Eagle Valley Humane Society, P.O. Box 4105, Eagle CO 81631.
“When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return” — Author unknown.