By JoAnn Laird
Special to The SUN
Retired Pagosa Springs Fire Chief Warren Grams has been selected as the Grand Marshal for the 2013 Pagosa Springs Rotary Fourth of July Parade.
Warren typically walks with the color guard from American Legion Post 108. This year, he is being honored and will be seated appropriately in a vintage fire truck graciously offered by our current fire chief, Diane Bower.
Selected from an impressive lineup of nominees, the committee felt Rotary’s motto of “Service Above Self” exemplified Grams’ life.
Warren, his late wife Kay, and daughter Leslie moved to Pagosa from southern California in 1980. Within two weeks of his arrival, he became a volunteer firefighter. Hired by the Pagosa Fire Protection District in 1991, he served as the esteemed chief for 17 years. Along the way, he and Kay became vital and contributing members of the community.
Warren has served on the Red Ryder Fair Board and The Friends of the Library Board; he is a current member of American Legion Post 108. He served for two years on the Republican Central Committee and has been an active member of Pagosa Springs Rotary. He is currently the incident commander for Archuleta County Search and Rescue and was an instructor for the Colorado Firefighters Association for 10 years. Many of you will remember Kay Grams for her tireless efforts on behalf of the library and her wonderful efforts serving meals at Loaves and Fishes.
Originally from Glen Cove, Long Island, Grams joined the U.S. Navy when he turned 18 and served for 20 years. He lived in ports in Hawaii, Texas and Wilby Island, and finally retired from the Navy in San Diego. His tour of duty took him to Vietnam from 1965 to 1968, during the height of the conflict.
“This is such a surprise and a great honor,” said Grams. “Thank you Pagosa!”
Warren’s daughter, Leslie, and grandchildren Roxeann and Matthew will be along the parade route to cheer him on. Accompanying Grams in the Grand Marshal float will be a friend, Kathy Lupien.
Give Warren a big wave and a thank you when you see him in that great old fire truck. You’re sure to get a big smile and wave in return.