Obituary of Gary Edward Cecil
In Loving Memory
Gary Edward Cecil
1946 - 2023
It is with heavy hearts and great sadness that we announce the passing of Gary Edward Cecil an unforgettable man who loved and lived life to the fullest, with pride, dedication to his country, and love for his family and friends.
Gary was a beloved husband to Pam Cecil and a devoted father to Timothy, Christopher, Paul and Stephanie Cecil. Gary provided guidance, support and unconditional love to his children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. His kind, fun loving, nurturing spirit helped to shape their lives. His memory will live in their hearts forever.
He is survived by his loving wife, Pam, his son Christopher (Beth) Cecil, son, Paul Cecil (Ashley), daughter Stephanie and his eight grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his mother Mildred Christine Laughlin, step father Bill Laughlin, sister Carol Gray, sister Jeannie Fouse, and son Timothy Cecil.
His life began on February 26th, 1946 in Powell, Tennessee, a town outside of Knoxville TN. His family owned a small farm where he helped with the animals and with harvesting the vegetables they grew on the farm. Gary grew up loving the outdoors, fishing, hunting and playing sports. He excelled in football and baseball. There wasn’t a sport that Gary didn’t try playing at least one time. He graduated from Powell High School in 1964; soon after he was drafted into the military where he proudly became a member of United States Air Force (USAF) Security Police Force.
The United States Air Force took Gary to many different places beginning with his Security Police Training at Lackland Air Force Base Texas, then on to Vandenberg, California, Omaha, Nebraska (where he served as part of the Strategic Air Command (SAC) Elite Honor Guard). Vietnam & Laos, brought on war and combat situations. Gary was wounded and became the recipient of a purple heart award. Gary was also awarded three bronze star medals, the Gallantry Cross with Palm medal, the AF Presidential Unit Citation, the National Defense Service medal, the Air Force Commendation medal with two Oak leaf clusters, the Campaign medal, and the Meritorious Service medal. He went on to serve in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Aviano, Italy (where he became interested in special operations and fighting terrorism). He then returned stateside to Aurora, Colorado, Buckley Air Force Base Second Communications Squadron. One temporary tour of duty led him to endure some cold dark days in Keflavik, Iceland as the only Security Police Officer on base. There he spent his free time as the Bowling Alley manager and the base Disc Jockey (DJ), where he loved spinning the records.
Later He became a part of the USAF Special Operations team and participated in several special operations missions overseas.
Finally, he finished his time in the USAF at Buckley Air Force Base Aurora, Colorado, as a Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO), Master Sargent, Second Communications Squadron - Security Police Superintendent. He took many a young airmen under his wing and helped build their future careers. Gary retired from the military in 1984 after 20 years of heroic service.
After 911 occurred Gary was called back to service to train new Special Operations recruits in small arms weapons and tactical training. Gary was an expert marksman and received the Small Arms Expert Marksmanship ribbon with one Bronze Star.
Upon leaving the Air Force Gary worked as a Security Manager for TRW (a local area defense contractor) for 15 years. He then went on to work in the corporate financial sector of security working as a Security Manager for First Trust, FiServ, and TDAmeritrade.
A true southern gentleman, humble and courageous in character, Gary loved to reminisce of old times with old friends and tell stories about his past; and from a life filled with exciting adventures, boy did he have some stories to tell.
He loved Colorado and supported all the Colorado sports teams. In his heart his favorite team was always the University of Tennessee Volunteers (Go Vols). If you couldn’t find him at a game, you could bet he was watching one on television.
On December 18, 2023 Gary passed away quietly in his sleep. Gary touched the lives of all the many people he met along his life path with kindness and generosity, and most of all his warm easy going spirit. He will be missed dearly by all who had the privilege of knowing him. May his soul rest in eternal peace.
Family and friends please join us for a memorial service to honor Gary’s life on January 8, 2024 at 1:30 pm at Fort Logan National Cemetery, located at 3698 S. Sheridan Blvd. Denver, Colorado 80235. (Must be there by 1:15 PM.)
A celebration of Gary’s life will follow from 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm at Alpha Charlies Tap and Tavern, 6631 South Peoria St., Suite 100 Englewood, CO 80111.
Donations may be made to any Police or Veterans organization of your choice, or to The Denver Hospice (Lowry).