Arthur A. GallegosJune 13, 1923 ~ February 10, 2017 (age 93)
Arthur Anthony Gallegos Sr., 93, of Littleton, CO went home to be with the Lord on February 10th, 2017.
Art, as he was known by his friends and family, was born on June 13th, 1923. He was the second of eight children born to Miguel and Aniceta Baca Gallegos of El Rito, NM, and was the only child to have been born in Santa Fe, where his father attended blacksmithing school at the time. Upon his completion at the school, Miguel moved the Gallegos family back to their ranch in the small town of El Rito.
From a young age, Art learned to be a hard worker on the family’s farm; he was a bona fide cowboy. At 12 years old, he rode his horse to round up the cattle and worked through the night to dig and irrigate their crops of corn and wheat. He had a special way with all animals, and was very fond of them. Outside of the farm, young Art also worked as a clerk in the town’s grocery store, Martin’s. Art and his older brother, Tony, were boxers in their school’s boxing program, and he developed a lifelong love of the sport.
Just after his 18th birthday, Art joined the military and trained with the U.S. Army to serve in WWII. He fought valiantly as a rifleman in the frontlines in the 35th Infantry Division, 2nd Platoon, in Normandy, France, and also fought bravely in the Battle of the Bulge. Art was awarded the Purple Heart after having been wounded in battle on July 17th, 1944. He was always so proud to have been a WWII veteran.
After the war was over, Art went on to graduate from college in Las Vegas, NM. He was a man of many talents, including being an exceptionally skilled woodworker. He built numerous pieces of beautiful, intricately carved furniture, and was a trained cabinet maker. In 1948, Art married his first wife, Stella Odom of El Rito, NM, whom he loved dearly. Soon after, they moved to Denver, CO and had eight children. Later, they settled in the suburb of Littleton, CO. Art worked hard to support his family as a freight checker for the Ringsby Trucklines and raised cattle on the side to help feed his family. In 1976, Stella tragically succumbed to an early demise.
Art was finally able to mend his broken heart when he met his second wife, Lettie Schober, whom he married in 1986. Lettie graciously accepted his large family as her own, and he and the Gallegos family felt so blessed to have her in their lives. He adored her and truly enjoyed spending his retirement years by her side. Art’s many interests and hobbies included gardening, wood carving, and weight lifting. He also enjoyed spending time laughing and sharing incredible stories with his many children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Arthur Gallegos was surely the reason his is called the “Greatest Generation”. He was truly a one-of-a-kind living legend: a great cowboy/horseman, war hero, woodworker extraordinaire, animal whisperer as well as being a devoted father, grandfather, and husband. Art will always be lovingly remembered and greatly missed by all who met him.
He is survived by his wife, Lettie, his children: Eileen (John) Larson, Ella Mae, Melvin (Jean), Clyde (Jane), Starla (Allen) Bruce, Melba Ann (Chuck) Matthews, Jeannie, and stepson Craig Knapp; eleven grandchildren: Shannon (Jon) Larson, LaVonne Watson, Andrea Gallegos, Steven Fike, Stella Gallegos, Kim Gallegos, Jimmy Gallegos, Ryan (Lori) Gallegos, Sabrina (Ivan) Medina, Uriah Matthews, Jennifer Logan; and six great-grandchildren: Breanna, Jade, Hannah, Chloe, Jenna Logan and Kane. He is preceded in death by his first wife, Stella; his son Arthur Anthony Jr., grandson Clyde Russell Jr., and stepson Kirk Knapp.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be given in honorarium to the American Cancer Society.
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