Obituary of Gary Loyd Sevier
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Who was Gary Sevier? Well, if you were to ask him, he would say any of the following: "Superman's Cousin", "The Voice", "The Legend", or "A Pillar of the Community". He was many things to many friends, family and acquaintances, who will always have fond memories and stories to tell of all the antics in his life. Gary Loyd Sevier was born in Hobbs, NM on January 7, 1953, the fourth of five children born to Loyd and Jean Sevier. At the age of about 3, his family moved to the Knowles Community where he lived until he was in junior high school. From Knowles, he rode the bus to school in Lovington. Gary, along with his older siblings Donna, Marvin and James and younger brother Randy, had regular chores every day, including milking a couple of cows, feeding chickens, gathering eggs, cleaning the chicken house and barn and working in the garden. His favorite horse, "Peppi", seemed to get great enjoyment from running under the peach trees and dragging Gary off. As soon as he was old enough, Gary joined 4-H and showed animals at the Lea County Fair. Loyd and Jean moved the family into Lovington in 1966 to the little home many will remember on W. Avenue G. It was at that time Gary went all out for sports. He was quarterback of his 9th grade football team and in high school lettered in football, basketball and track. He also played baseball in the summer. The love of baseball was evidenced in his Fantasy Baseball teams of which he participated in most recent years with his family and new friends around the country. Many will remember, or have heard stories passed on, that fateful day of October 10, 1969 at Lovington's Wildcat Stadium. In a football game with Seminole, TX, Gary received a broken neck which changed his life completely. The Lovington Wildcats went on to win the NM State Boys' Football Championship that year, dedicating the game to their teammate, Gary. Through special arrangements from within the community, Gary was flown to the State playoff game, where he was able to cheer his teammates to victory from the sidelines, on a gurney. A picture of this exciting moment was captured and included in the high school yearbook that year. With the help of tutors at the Rehab Center in Roswell, NM, he was able to keep up his studies to finish his junior year, despite having to remain in the rehab center for 9 months. He returned to classes to finish out his senior year and graduate with his classmates. During their senior year, the football team saw that Gary never missed a practice or a ballgame. They took him everywhere they went. He even coached the Lovington Girls' Powderpuff Football team. Gary was honored his senior year by receiving the school's highest sports award. Even though the accident left him being a quadriplegic for life, Gary's positive attitude and outlook on life has been an inspiration to all who have come to know him. After graduating high school with the class of 1971,Gary went on to study at New Mexico Junior College. During this time, he took a desk job at KCIA Radio Station at Humble City (north of Hobbs on the Lovington Highway). When one of the DJs failed to show up at airtime, Gary stepped in and never looked back. He had found his gift in that beautiful,smooth voice of his! During this time he met Connie Jourdan, a copywriter for the station. They married in 1993. KCIA Radio was purchased by Noalmark Broadcasting Corporation, moved into Hobbs and eventually included 7 stations. Not only did Gary do broadcasting with them, his expertise in computer technology provided the means to grow with the station. He received numerous broadcasting honors through his 45 year career in radio, culminating with induction to the New Mexico Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2016. Apparently 'cupid' struck Gary and Connie when she 'crashed' his 20 year Lovington High School Reunion. They married on Christmas Eve, 1993, and together raised her son Brian Cuellar. In 2008, Brian married Ashley Pearce of Eunice, NM and they have blessed Gary and Connie with two wonderful grandsons, Carter and Crew. They reside in Midland, TX .....not far from Rockhound Baseball Stadium, where they all enjoyed catching games with "Pawpaw'' and "Nonnie". The boys' favorite 'ride' was with Pawpaw on his motorized wheelchair at soccer and baseball games, shopping, restaurants and vacations together. They could not leave Lovington without a 'hoist' from Pawpaw up into the big mulberry tree in Gary's front yard! In 1995, Gary encouraged Connie to leave her employment of 17 years with a local insurance agency and go out on her own, with his full support. They formed a corporation, Garcon, Inc. (combining their first names). He was president and Connie was vice president. The little business that started in their garage is now known as Western States Insurance in Lovington. A few years later, they purchased and remodeled a building in the downtown district to house the insurance agency which has grown to include individual and business accounts in several states and has provided employment for several employees and their families. Gary learned how to take care of the books and was the chief bookkeeper and IT guy for Garcon, Inc. Again, with his positive 'can-do' attitude, he helped make all this happen! Gary's life was full of adventure and fun, and anyone fortunate to tag along knew they would be in for a good time. From snorkeling off the beaches in Haiti and the Bahamas, scuba diving in the Virgin Islands and Cozumel,fishing with his brothers in Mexico, catching 'star parties' with Brian, Ashley, Carter & Crew at McDonald Observatory in the Davis Mountains of Texas, touring the wine country of Napa, California, weekend trips to catch some Black Jack, Craps and a show in Vegas, Gary did not lead a boring life. However, Gary's most fulfilling adventure has been that of creating his little 1-acre oasis of his and Connie's home in Lovington over the past 30 years, where they have shared with family and friends. Gary volunteered much of his time to the youth and community of Lea County. He regularly DJ'd for the annual 4-H Buckle Dance, raising money for the group. He mentored a wheelchair-bound child, giving up his lunch breaks to work with the child in a Hobbs elementary school,encouraging that child to see that disabilities can be dealt with in a positive way. He DJ'd all night long for the Lovington Relay for Life several years, raising money for cancer research. The kids in Tatum, Lovington, Hobbs, Eunice and Jal schools always enjoyed it when Gary would DJ for their various events throughout the years. For many years he was the announcer and DJ for Lovington's "Smokin' on the Plaza" championship barbecue cook-off, even having his own award-winning team several times through the past years. The Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center showed their endearing appreciation for the work he did for them by honoring him the Silver Concho Award and induction into the Cowboy Hall of Fame. In recent years, Gary's mom Jean moved into Goodlife Senior Living and Memory Care in Lovington. You could find him there on almost any given day, visiting with Jean and other residents of the center. At Christmas, he would don his Santa suit and help give out presents to them. When COVID-19 pandemic prevented their annual Mothers' Day celebration, Gary decorated his van and joined in for a 'parade' around the center for all to enjoy. He seldom missed his evening telephone chats with Mom, or his afternoon visits with her at the home, where he was very popular with all the residents and staff. After retiring from radio broadcasting in 2018, Gary started his own tradition of visiting the local coffee shops in Lovington daily, where he was sure to see and visit with several old friends in the community. The coffee shops knew to have his "short, triple-shot latte with 2 sugars" ready when they saw him drive up! Paralysis does not keep a person from doing the things they love, or developing new activities. Gary loved fishing, boating, scuba diving, competition barbecuing....and gardening! Gary and Connie became Master Gardeners through the Lea County Extension Service several years back. Favorite trips were visiting areas around the country to see botanical gardens and ponds. Gary was obsessed in keeping his 1-acre lawn and gardens blooming almost year-round. Family and friends talked about the need for 'intervention' to control his nursery shopping habits! It has always been Gary's wishes for his ashes to be placed in his mother's family cemetery at Watrous, north of Las Vegas, NM. This little cemetery, located in the foothills of the mountains, has been his family's heritage for over 150 years. Approximately 75-100, or more, family members from around the United States have always made Memorial Day weekend their time to gather for a reunion, tidy up the cemetery, place flowers at every grave including flags at each who served their country, and conduct services for all who have passed, as well as bury the ashes of any who may have passed during the previous year. Gary Sevier had strong shoulders to lean on, was a jokester when you needed a laugh, had a heart that would not give up, and an inspiration to all who were blessed by knowing him. He will certainly be missed! "A Celebration of the Life of Gary Sevier, 01/07/1953-06/11/2021" is being planned for July 10, 2021 at 4:00 PM (MST) in the Lovington High School's Pannell Auditorium. Arrangements are under the direction of Kirby-Ratliff Funeral Home. All are invited and encouraged to attend and share memories of this amazing man.To plant a beautiful memorial tree in memory of Gary Sevier, please visit our Tree Store
Saturday, July 10, 2021
Lovington, New Mexico, United States
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In Loving Memory
1953 - 2021
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