MOAB, Utah—Melvin Eugene Getz died on February 5, 2018 in Moab, Utah.
He was born on July 24, 1933 at the family ranch south of Monte Vista, to Leslie P. and Irene Getz.
Melvin graduated from Monte Vista High School and Colorado A. & M. College (later Colorado State University) in Fort Collins. He served in the U. S. Air Force. Getz began ranching with his father and was later joined by his brothers. He retired from ranching after a 35-year career.
Always committed to serving his community, he was a member of the Monte Vista School Board from 1964 to 1975 and served two terms as Rio Grande County Commissioner from 1991 to 1998. He was a member of the San Luis Valley Cattlemen’s Association, director and president of the Board of the Commonwealth Irrigation Company and a member of the Rio Grande Waters Users Association.
An acknowledged expert on water issues in the San Luis Valley, he was recognized as the 1990 Division III Water Manager of the Year and the 1993 District III Water Commissioner of the Year. He was a member of the Rio Grande Basin Round Table and a leading advocate in the fight to protect Valley water from AWDI and other threats. He and his wife Camille organized the Centennial celebration of San Luis Valley Reservoirs and co-wrote a history of reservoirs in the Rio Grande watershed.
He was a member of the Vestry of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. As a member of the Creede Repertory Theatre Board, he helped to raise funds and plan for the theatre renovation. His favorite place to be was his cabin on the upper Rio Grande, and his favorite activity was fishing at Santa Maria with his kids and grandkids.
Melvin is survived by his wife, Camille; children Steve (Terri) Getz of Moab, Lynne Getz of Blowing Rock, N.C.; Chris Getz of Del Norte, Jackie (Brent) White of Bridgewater, N.J.; Amy Getz (Tom Broderick) of Mancos, Colo.; Debbie (Brian) Brownell of Alamosa and step-children Eric (Doris) Evans of Jacksonville, Fla.; Jon (Katherine) Evans of Seattle, Wash.; Jay (Francisca) Evans of Harwood, Md. and Julie (Rod) McCauley of Loveland, Colo.; nine grandchildren, 14 step-grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; two great-great grandchildren; two brothers Floyd (Judie) Getz of Mesa, Ariz.; Glen (Sue) Getz of Monte Vista; two brothers-in-law Braxton Neely of Alamosa and Bill Lorton of San Francisco, Calif.; and one sister-in-law Charlene Getz of Temple City, Calif. and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Leslie and Irene Getz; his first wife, Alice Lorton Getz; his brother, Alan Getz and his sister, Marilyn Neely.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Florence Lorton/Alice Getz Memorial Scholarship at Adams State University.
A memorial service will be held on Sunday, Feb. 11, at the Veterans Center Chapel at Homelake at 2 p.m.