Vail shooting victim’s family makes statement
November 10, 2009
The family of Dr. Gary Kitching, the 70-year-old man killed in a shooting at Vail’s Sandbar Saturday, has released the following statement:
Gary was born in Central City, Colorado.
Gary served various communities as a physician for over 40 years. He attended USC as an undergraduate and remained a loyal Trojan fan. He graduated from Creighton University Medical School in Omaha, Nebraska and completed an internship at Los Angeles County/ USC Medical Center. From 1969-1971, Gary was a Lieutenant in the US Navy and was stationed at 29 Palms, California. He later completed a residency in radiology at Harbor General Hospital in Carson, California and a fellowship in interventional radiology at Loma Linda University Medical Center in Loma Linda, California.
Gary was married to Lani Kitching, his constant companion in his many adventures. In addition to being a devoted husband, he was a devoted father to his three children, Chris, Allison and Kelly and he adored his two-year old twin granddaughters Lucia and Sierra. A natural coach, he generously donated his time to youth sports including soccer and baseball.
All his adult life Gary was an avid outdoor enthusiast. His interests included backpacking, flyfishing, skiing, and sports such as tennis and golf. This past Father’s Day, Gary completed a 20 mile backpacking trip with his daughter in Olympic National Park in the state of Washington. In recent years Gary scaled many Fourteeners: Capitol Peak, Castle Peak, Mount Elbert, La Plata Peak and Mount Harvard in Colorado, and also White Mountain in California. Gary’s flyfishing skills were legendary and he was particularly fond of the Frying Pan River where he named at least 20 favorite holes. Lani and Gary spent endless hours on the river patiently practicing their art. Skiing was also a passion and during the past two winters, Gary punched his ticket more than 100 times. Anyone who ever played tennis or golf with Gary understood his serious focus on technique and the constant drive to improve. Gary always believed his best scores and performances were in front of him.
As he strived to reach his own potential, Gary was successful in encouraging others to reach higher and farther. Countless examples exist where Gary provided intelligent guidance to his family and friends that literally changed the direction of lives. In the final analysis, people are measured by contributions to others and the resulting impact. Gary’s friends and family will be forever in debt for the extraordinary way he touched and improved their lives through his personality, presence, and passion for life.
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A memorial service will be held next week at River Valley Ranch where Gary resided. Please contact River Valley Ranch for more details at 970-963-0400.