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His Life

Remembering Gerry

November 1, 2012

Gerald Selby Hollingworth, "Gerry", was born June 23, 1931 in Watsonville, CA to Elizabeth & Gerald Hollingworth.  In 1951, the family, including Gerry's sister Eileen, moved to Englewood, CO.  After graduating Englewood High School in 1952, Gerry went on to Denver University (DU) to receive his Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1956.  He met his his future wife Barbara in 1958 when they were both teaching in Broomfield, CO, and they were married in 1959.  They taught school together for several years - Barbara in Special Education and Gerry in Art and Ceramics.  Knowing that Barbara's health was failing, in 1964 they bought property along Soda Creek in Steamboat Springs with plans toward rental and development possibilities that would sustain them through the years.  Sadly, Barbara died in 1965.

Gerry had many interests - fly fishing and fly tying, gardening (especially garlic and potatoes), hiking, back-packing, back-country skiing, jazz, and lots of conversation.  Those conversations often took a philosophical or environmental tack, with water law being one of several favorite topics.  Gerry supported many environmental causes.

But most of all he enjoyed his pottery and painting.  In the early 1970's, he turned his barn into a pottery and art studio, which became a favorite hangout for potters, artists, and students of all ages.  Cindy Sherman Denison remembers throwing pots while watching ducks on the pond and smelling garlic, and Finnish potatoes simmering on the stove.  She also relates,

"The highlight of those years was the comletion of the main barn gallery space and a much anticipated ceramics show of work by Gerry and his appreciative students, many of whom had not shown in a gallery before.  Gerry did not disappoint:  The works dazzled on pedestals in beautiful lighting framed by the dark wood timbers of the barn.  It was one of Gerry's proudest moments".

In 1978 Katie Newton and her daughter joined Gerry at the barn.  During the next several years, favorite activities for Katie and Gerry were working in the garden, game hunting, and bird hunting with their well-trained dogs.  Jenny remembers that meals consisted almost entirely of wild game and vegetables from the garden.  Jenny and her sister Julia spent a long time researching and choosing an Italian Spinone puppy named Guido for Gerry.  Guido became Gerry's constant companion and favorite hunting dog.

Friend and neighbor, Joe Robbins, speaks of the wide variety of Gerry's interests and closes by saying "I often thought that if all Gerry's talents and vast knowledge were just more equitably distributed among mere mortals, the resulting accomplishments would be incredible.  I shall miss Gerald."

Gerry is survived by his nephews, Tim (with his wife Sarah and their children Jessica, Caleb, Samuel, and Elijah) and Chris (with his wife Melanie and their sons Cameron and Calden).  Gerry's sister Eileen Hollingworth Coffelt died in August this year.

Gerry died of natural causes at his home on his birthday, June 23, 2012.  Memorial contribitions may be sent to High Country News, P.O. Box 1090, Paonia, CO 81428 or Hospice of Steamboat Springs.

I believe much of this write up and research was done by Lynn Abbott.