The SweetwaterNOW Team Remembers Gary Collins

The SweetwaterNOW Team Remembers Gary Collins

Although working a job is a necessary part of life, because of Gary Collins, the SweetwaterNOW team is a part of something that far surpasses that necessity. Because of Gary, we are able to create, collaborate and engage with a community that we love every single day.

Gary’s passion built SweetwaterNOW and molded it into what it is today; a resource that is loved and appreciated by our community, a vessel for growth and a force of good. To say that our work here has had a profound impact on each of us doesn’t fully incapsulate our gratitude or admiration for the man who made it all possible.

Gary’s love for Wyoming and Sweetwater County was unmatched, his ability to impact the the lives of others, unparalleled. Losing him leaves a tremendous void in our team. One that we cannot hope will ever be filled, because there truly is no one else quite like Gary.

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Our hearts are with his family and friends during this hard time. The one thing he taught us above all else is to value the ones you love and give them the very best of you.

His drive set the standard and we hope to move forward and make him proud, cherishing the gifts he gave us, applying the lessons he taught us and carrying on his incredible legacy.

“We’ll see ya,” Gary.

The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.

Benjamin Disraeli

Gary was a great leader with a drive and passion that inspired others to rise to his level. He had high expectations for everyone on our incredible, but small SweetwaterNOW team, and we were better because of it. Not only was he my mentor, but most importantly my friend.

My heart aches at the thought of not seeing him walk through the office door one more time, not receiving another email, gif, or text message. I will surely miss his incredible advice, amazing technology skills, great sense of humor, but most of all his friendship.

It’s hard not to feel broken when a big piece of our team was taken away from us far too soon, but in honor of Gary we will continue as best we can to continue the legacy he left behind. We love and miss you Gary.”

-Stephanie Thompson

It’s hard to know where to begin. Gary’s time on this earth was rich and beautiful beyond words. He touched the lives of so many people and I feel incredibly blessed to be one of them.

Gary, it’s so hard to believe that you’re gone. I will never be able to repay you for everything you’ve taught me or all that you’ve done for me and my family, but I promise I’ll spend every day making it worthwhile. You taught me so much about life, about hard work, and about community. You never failed to leave me inspired, empowered and ready to do more.

I have always admired the way you took care of people and made them feel like they mattered, among so many other things. You took a chance on me at a time when I had no idea what I was capable of, and for that I will always be grateful.

You were teaching me lessons right up until you had to go and I hope you know that I heard you. 4 years went by too fast and even though it doesn’t feel like we had nearly enough time, your spirit will remain with us in all that we do. (I’ll finally get that ukulele tuned!) Thank you for everything.”

-Lindsay Malicoate 

There are special people and then there are people like you Gary Collins.

Over the last two and a half years it’s been an honor working beside you each day building something special at SweetwaterNOW. Thanks for taking a chance on me and believing in me when others didn’t.

Because of you I’ve grown into the person I am today and I’ll forever be grateful for the life lessons you taught me. I’ll miss the laughs, deep conversations, late night texts and political banter. Life just won’t be the same.

Thank you for your example and for taking the time to show me the importance of putting others before myself. As much as it hurts, it’s only temporary. Rest easy man. You still owe me a fly fishing trip!

-Brayden Flack

Gary was the driving force and heart behind SweetwaterNOW. I have never seen someone so dedicated to their work as Gary was, and he was and remains an inspiration to me. Even more special was Gary’s dedication to his community. We’ve all seen the work he put into the community and the effort he made to make Sweetwater County the best place it could be.

I was hired at SweetwaterNOW in September 2017 and I met Gary for the first time during the interview. I easily decided that I wanted to work with him, and I started the job the very next day. Over the three years I worked with Gary, I found him to be someone I could always depend on. As a journalist, you’re not always favored by everyone, but Gary never hesitated to stand by me and my work.

I will forever be grateful to him for having my back and for teaching me so much. SweetwaterNOW will never be the same without him. This community will not be the same. It was a privilege to know him and to work alongside him.

-Olivia Kennah

Like he did for so many others, Gary changed my life. I’ve learned more about marketing, graphic design, this community, and just life in general than I ever thought I could in the span of two years, just by trying like hell every day to keep up with him, and for that, I’ll always be grateful.

He had this way of telling me I could do better, when I could and that I deserved better, when I did, even when I didn’t want to hear it – ESPECIALLY when I didn’t want to hear it. So I’d roll my eyes, complain for a day (or two), realize he was right, adjust and keep working and now I am better because of it.

In one of our last meetings he told me, “You’re talented enough, resourceful enough, and smart enough to do anything you want – you just have to start believing it.” And each day, he helped me start to believe it.

I know you had so much more to teach us all – but even while you’re gone, I have a feeling that somehow, we’ll all find ways to keep learning from you. Your voice will forever be in the back of my head while I’m creating or designing anything and I’ll always be wondering if you’d say, “BEAUTIFUL” or “Love it!” or “I like it buuuut….”

Thank you Gary; for all of the lessons, opportunities, faith, support, and for always giving this world more than you took from it.

-Kaylee Hughes

Gary and I first crossed paths when he was working as the Marketing Director at Memorial Hospital and I was an advertising representative at The Radio Network. Over the years we developed a friendship that grew in both trust and respect.

I’m going to miss the many nuanced conversations we had about everything from books to politics to music and much more. Gary taught this old dog a lot of new tricks about digital technology and the places it can take you. We shared so many good laughs, whether it was judging karaoke contests together back in the day or just heading up the street to the Wyoming Club for a cold one after work.

He was fiercely dedicated and committed to everything that mattered to him, and that devotion will leave a lasting legacy in this community for a long, long time. But most of all, I’m going to miss his inspiration in challenging oneself to grow, and believing that anything is possible with the right attitude.

Rest in peace old friend, and know that you’ll always be in our hearts.

-Dave Arambel