Gerald “Gerry” Selby Hollingworth was born June 23, 1931, in Watsonville, Calif., to Elizabeth and Gerald Hollingworth. In 1951, the family, including Gerry’s sister Eileen, moved to Englewood. After graduating from Englewood High School in 1952, Gerry received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Denver in 1956.
He met his future wife Barbara in 1958 when they were both teaching in Broomfield, and they 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, including fly-fishing and fly-tying, gardening (especially garlic and potatoes), hiking, backpacking, backcountry 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.
Most of all he enjoyed his pottery and painting. In the early 1970s his barn became a pottery studio and a favorite hangout for potters 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.
“The highlight of those years was the completion 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,” she recalled. “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 Jenny joined Gerry at the barn. During the next several years, a favorite activity was 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 have often thought that if all Gerry’s talents and vast knowledge were just more equitably distributed among several mere mortals, the resulting accomplishments would be incredible. I shall miss Gerald.”
Gerry is survived by his nephews, Tim and his wife Sarah and their children Jessica, Caleb, Samuel, and Elijah, and Chris and his wife Melanie and their sons Cameron and Caden. Gerry’s sister Eileen Hollingworth Coffelt died in August 2012.
Gerry died at his home on his birthday, June 23, 2012. An online memorial site is at www.forevermissed.com/geraldhollingworth/#about. Memorial contributions may be sent to High Country News, P.O. Box 1090, Paonia, CO 81428, or to Hospice of Steamboat Springs, 940 Central Park Drive, Suite 101, Steamboat Springs, CO 80487.