Gary Michael ‘Pancho’ Willis


Pancho passed away peacefully at Pine Ridge Extended Care on Saturday, July 13, following a lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer.
Pancho was born in Lancaster, Calif., in 1963, to Ron and Gina Willis.
When he was 4 years old, his family moved to Colorado, then worked on cattle and horse ranches for a few years. Pancho grew up mostly in the north western states of Montana, Wyoming and Colorado until Pancho thought it was time to strike out on his own to see all that he has missed!
Pancho was married twice. His first wife was Melanie for 16 years. They were cross-country drivers from east to west coasts, each one was a million-mile driver every year. She worked hard alongside of Pancho until she was killed in a truck accident. Her death was a great loss to both sides of our families.
Three years later, Pancho married his second wife, Sandrine. They had a daughter, Oceana. Pancho worked very hard to provide a good living for his family. He was gone a good deal of the time and missed many activities with his daughter, which he realized and regretted later on in life.
Pancho loved to barbecue and smoke meat. He worked for Crossfire Gas and Oil for 11 years. He started out as a truck driver and advanced to their safety department. He loved his work and the men he worked with. He traveled wherever they sent him to cook for Crossfire crews between safety training days; the crews loved it. Pancho would repeatedly say in his safety training classes, “Pay attention — don’t get in a hurry” — then he would add, “Now go home and hug your kids.”
He was loved by many and will be greatly missed.
Donations in memory of Pancho can be made to Pagosa Springs Veterans, which, in passing, Pancho would always stop and thank them”for their service.
A Celebration of Life will be announced at a later date.