Memorial Service for Gary Byrd

There will be a memorial service for former Trinidad resident Gary Byrd on September 3rd at 11:00am, it will be held at Fort Wootton Memorial Square (204 S Chestnut Street, Trinidad, CO 81082).

Gary was living in Arizona at the time of his death on June 16th, 2021. Gary was a Navy veteran. A flag will be presented to the family by American Legion Post 11. Any who knew Gary and wishes to attend is welcome.

Nick DeBono

1931 – 2020

Nick DeBono passed away on December 24th, 2020 at the age of 89. Nick was the longest continuous member of Stanley Hardman American Legion Post 11 with 52 continuous years. Nick was recognized by the American Legion Department of Colorado at his 50 year mark.

Published in The Chronicle-News on Jan. 12, 2021

Bernard J. Gonzales Sr.

Bernard J. Gonzales
1948 – 2021

Bernard J. Gonzales Sr. was called suddenly to be with our Dear Lord on January 16, 2021.

He was born in Trinidad, CO on September 14, 1948, the son of the late Sam and Bertha Gonzales. He was the youngest of 3 siblings.
He was preceded in death by his Mom and Dad as well as his cousin John Sena.

Bernie proudly served his country in Vietnam from May-Sept of 1969. He was in the 1st Battalion of the 27th Infantry Brigade, Alpha Company (Company A), The 25th Division, The Wolfhounds. He went by the name “Gonz” while in Vietnam.

Bernie was honorably discharged with the following medals: Purple Heart with 2 Bronze Stars, Expert Badge with Rifle Bar(M14), National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal w/ 60 Device, and Sharpshooter Badge with Rifle Bar/& Mi Bar (M16&M60).

Bernie was a well-known musician that grew up in a musical family. He continued on with playing the bass guitar for many years. He was one of the original members of Fred Baca and the Seranaders.

He worked in the County Clerk and Recorder’s Office for 43 years, and was elected the County Clerk and Recorder for 7 consecutive terms until he retired on January 13th, 2015.

Bernie was a very proud and longstanding committee member of The Las Animas County Veteran’s Committee.

He spent his retired years visiting with his children, grandchildren, family, friends and taking care of his farm.

He is survived by son, Bernie (Kim) Gonzales Jr.; daughter, Bernadette, (Ian) Gonzales Watermeier; grandchildren, Brodie & Kendall Gonzales; brother Sam Gonzales; sister, Judy Baca; special cousin Lydia Baca, many Nieces and Nephews and Great Nieces and Nephews. He is also survived by his many dear friends.

Visitation will be Sunday, January 24, 2021 from 3pm- 8pm at the Comi Chapel.

The family respectfully requests, that due to COVID restrictions, the Funeral Mass be private but the public is invited to gather at the graveside service on January 25, 2021, at 11am at the Trinidad Catholic Cemetery for interment with Military Honors conducted by Ft. Carson Honor Guard.
Arrangements made under the direction of the Comi Funeral Home.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.

Published in The Chronicle-News on Jan. 22, 2021.

Gary Hove Passed Away

Gary Hove, American Legion Post 11

American Legion Post 11 member Gary Hove was found dead in his home on Santa Fe Trail Ranch on December 24th, 2019. Gary will be missed greatly by all of us at Post 11.

We are currently waiting for more information on arrangements.

Gary was born in Torrance California on August 20, 1945. He joined the U.S. Marine Corps on Sep 27 1965 and was honorably discharged as a sergeant.

Gary was an entertaining fellow and was very straightforward when speaking with him. He was an active member in Post 11 and we are so happy that he was able to attend the post’s Christmas Party before he passed.

Rosario (Ross) Gagliardi Passed Away

American Legion Post 11 Riders President Ross Gagliardi

American Legion Post 11 member and Post 11 Riders President Ross Gagliardi passed away in Pueblo on December 27th, 2019. All of us at Post 11 will miss Ross tremendously.

Born in Trinidad on February 23, 1948 to Albert and Bernice Gagliardi, Ross was raised in Trinidad and graduated from THS in 1966. He went on to study at Otero Junior College to become an LPN and in the early days of his working life served at Ft. Lyons VA Hospital and Mt. San Rafael Hospital. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1969 and was honorably discharged as a Corporal after 2 years of service, spending some of his active duty time in Cuba and Naval Air Station Alameda. In 1972, he began what would become a nearly 43-year career with Harsco Track Technologies, a railroad machine manufacturing company.

There was virtually no railroad track in the U.S. untouched by Ross’s expertise of the inner workings of the machines that laid and repaired track, including work on the major “T-Rex” light rail project in Denver, the Bay Area Rapid Transit System in San Francisco, the Metro in Washington D.C., along with work on rail lines as close as La Junta and as far as the Alaska Railroad, New Zealand and Peru. He ended his long career teaching a new generation of rail mechanics.

Ross had a family legacy of music passed down to him by his beloved Uncle Felix and he began sharing his own love for music in high school band with the trumpet. Then as an adult, he played lead guitar and vocals in a band in town, eventually translating his performance from the bar scene to the church when he gave his life to the Lord in 1994. From that point on, decisions small and large were guided by his faith. He became a deacon at First Southern Baptist Church in 1997 and eventually pastor of Stonewall Community Church in 2005 for 8 years.

In his most recent ministry, Ross served as a Chaplain of Mt. Rose Health Center Palliative Care and Hospice. Ross had a strong patriotic spirit and matched that with his love for motorcycle riding by participating in the “Run for the Wall,” a cross-country group ride to Arlington National Cemetery to honor the fallen, missing, and active duty U.S. troops around the world. He made the run in 2013 and again in 2017 as a Chaplain. Locally, he was instrumental in founding and serving as President of the American Legion Riders of Post 11.

Ross was a devoted husband of almost 39 years to his wife Ruth and a loving father to sons Shane Gagliardi, Bryan Atkins, and daughter Glenna Bullock. He took great care to develop and foster a close relationship with each of his kids, catering to and supporting their interests, like hunting deer and elk with both boys, golfing with Shane, auto mechanics with Bryan and passing down a love for music to Glenna.

Bringing great joy to him in later years were his 6 grandchildren: Katie, Logan, Shanya, Jessica, Ethan, and Stella. He also enjoyed a special relationship with his sister Frances Velasquez, always giving her something to laugh about, but also taking great care to watch after her as a protective brother.

Ross will be most missed for the example he set when he took up his cross to follow Jesus, the lighthearted nature of his humor which naturally lent itself to great passing conversations with just about everyone in town, whether in restaurants, at the store, or on the street. Ross never met a stranger, only a friend. Finally, we will miss seeing his strong desire to serve: God, his family, hospital and hospice patients, parishioners and friends.

Ross was preceded in death by his parents Albert and Bernice Gagliardi, uncles Raymond, Sam, and Felix Torres, sister Phyllis Gagliardi, sister-in-law Mitzi (Weese) Gagliardi, and nephew Angelo Gagliardi.

Ross is survived by his wife Ruth, sons Shane Gagliardi and Bryan (Jeanette) Atkins, daughter Glenna (David) Bullock, siblings Lorraine (Art) Lucero, Albert Gagliardi, Frances Velasquez, and Veronica (Manny) Rodriquez. He was a special uncle to Maria (Richard) Dominguez, Regina (Jerry) Devaul, Mario and Jess Gagliardi, and great uncle to Brandon Salazar and Jerry Joseph Devaul.

Visitation will take place Monday, January 6th from 3PM-6PM at the Comi Funeral Home Chapel. The Funeral Service will be celebrated Tuesday, January 7th at 10AM at Fisher’s Peak Community Church, followed by the Interment at Trinidad Catholic Cemetery. Arrangements made under the direction of the Comi Funeral Home.

Memorial Service for Sergeant William C. Prough (Retired)

Saturday, June 1, 2019, a memorial service was held for Sergeant William (Bill) Prough, U.S. Army Retired. The memorial service was held at Lathrop State Park in Walsenburg, CO and was attended by his many family and friends. A U.S. Army Honor Guard from Fort Carson and American Legion Post 11 Riders from Trinidad were also in attendance to honor Sergeant Prough.