Son will carry on dad’s daily journal
Grand Junction man Paul Guillory started a journal nearly 20 years ago to log his daily activities and record local high and low temperatures.
Bret Guillory remembers his father calling him one day asking, “Bret, guess what you were doing 15 years ago today?”
Bret remembers answering, “Geez, I don’t know, Dad.”
The seemingly simple task of recording one’s daily life was passed down to Bret this week when he inherited his father’s 2013 journal.
“I’m going to carry on the tradition,” Bret said.
On Tuesday, Paul died in a vehicle crash on Interstate 70. He was 75.
On Thursday, Bret, Helen Guillory, Paul’s wife of 53 years, and Bret’s wife, Lori, sat in Paul and Helen’s Grand Junction home to reflect on Paul’s life.
“I can’t stress enough about his faith,” Helen said.
A service for Paul is scheduled at 11:30 a.m. Monday at First Presbyterian Church, 3940 27 1/2 Road. The family asked for all memorial contributions to go to the church.
Although Paul was involved at church, he had plenty of hobbies outside those walls, with an emphasis on the word “outside.”
“He just fell in love with Colorado,” Helen said.
Born in Louisiana — the family had a coffee mug that read “Kiss Me I’m Cajun” — Paul moved to Wilson Creek as a boy, moved to Utah for a time, but returned in 1957 to attend the former Mesa Junior College.
He and Helen both attended the school but met on a ski trip to Aspen.
They married in 1959 and had a son, Bret, an engineering program supervisor with the city, and daughter, Susie Guillory, of Denver.
“She was the apple of (Paul’s) eye,” Helen said.
The family camped together, skied together, flew airplanes together — Paul had his pilot license and Susie wrote an A+ essay about flying with her dad — rode motorcycles and dirt bikes together.
Well, the dirt bikes were more a father, son and grandson thing. Bret’s son, Jared, 17, was “cherished” by Paul, Helen said.
Bret remembers falling off his dirt bike last year and dislocating his shoulder “while chasing my 75-year-old father,” he said with a smile.
Paul was fascinated with the area’s mining history and loved to sketch.
He used to fly in the Civil Air Patrol, was a past member of the Grand Junction Lions Club and the Gold Wing Road Riders Association. Paul’s vast interests and outgoing personality helped the couple establish a “wonderful network of friends,” Helen said. It was impossible for Paul to go out for dinner without recognizing someone, Bret added.
In their retirement years, Helen and Paul found a part-time job shuttling rental cars outside Grand Junction. Paul was headed to Denver with a rental when he crashed into the back of a tractor-trailer stopped Tuesday on I-70.
It was about 8 a.m. at the time of the crash, and the sun was at an awkward angle, likely making the flatbed trailer Paul crashed into difficult to see, Helen said.
She was driving a vehicle behind Paul. Helen braked when her husband crashed and came to a stop on the shoulder.
“Paul as a driver was always looking so far ahead,” Helen said.
State Patrol is investigating the crash and no charges have been filed, but the preliminary investigation indicated a small dog was loose on the road, prompting “multiple vehicles” to stop ahead of the tractor-trailer.
Helen said she saw the dog running along the roadside after the crash.
On Thursday, however, the Guillory family focused less on Paul’s death and more on Paul’s life.
“He loved living in Colorado,” Helen said. “He was a good man with a strong Christian faith.”