October 13, 1928 ~ July 2, 2019

Born in: Peebles, Ohio
Resided in: Aurora, Colorado

Gary Nathaniel Hemmings passed away on July 2, 2019. He was 90-years old.

The youngest of six children, Gary was born to Benjamin Sampson and Ruth Elizabeth (Boyd) Hemmings on October 13, 1928, in Peebles, Ohio. He spent his early years looking up to his adored older brother Kyle, swimming in creeks, riding horses and working hard in the fields of his family’s farm while attending school in Locust Grove.

Gary married Patricia Ann Armstrong of Peebles, Ohio, in 1950 and joined the Air Force soon after in 1951. Always a leader, he was promoted quickly and honored with numerous awards as Lackland Air Force Base’s top drill sergeant.

In the Air Force, Gary traveled the world, from Africa to Europe to Asia. He completed tours in North Africa and Germany and served in the Vietnam war. Specializing in reconnaissance photography, he continued his education and rose through the ranks. He completed his military career at Lowry Air Force Base in Denver, retiring in 1974 at as a chief master sergeant—the highest ranked title for enlisted members in the service. In 1975, he returned to Lowry working as a civil service employee in charge of the photo school until he retired again in 1992.

In retirement, Gary loved to golf, travel, sing and play the guitar and banjo (self-taught), cook delicious down-home meals, tinker in his garage, pore through history books, passionately discuss world affairs, and spend time with his growing family and many friends. He was the adored grandfather of six granddaughters, three great granddaughters, and a much-awaited great grandson. He remained a proud member of the philanthropic Freemason organization until his death.

A resident of Aurora, Colorado, Gary is survived by his former spouse and lifelong friend, Patricia Ann Hemmings, his children, Colleen (Larry) Risk, G. Bruce (Josie) Hemmings, and DeAnna Ruth Hemmings; his grandchildren, Shelly E. Risk (Christopher Parks), Shannon K. Risk, Taylor A. (Adam) Goble, Taryn E. Hemmings, Sara K. Hemmings, and Audrey R. Hemmings; his great grandchildren, Leah A. Goble, Natalie J. Goble, Landon Bruce Fox, and Camryn S. Fox. He was preceded in death by the siblings he loved so much—Ralph Hemmings, Kyle Hemmings, Evelyn Ryan, Thelma Hemmings, and Melva Skidmore.

Gary passed peacefully and without pain in the presence of his loving family. Charming, kind, and treasured by so many, he left a legacy of love and made a positive impact on this world. He will be missed.

Memorial contributions may be made to Gary’s favorite charities, the Disabled American Veterans and the Make a Wish Foundation.

Philippians 4:4–7

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.


Visitation: July 11, 2019 10:00 am - 11:00 am

Horan & McConaty - SE Denver/Aurora
11150 E. Dartmouth Ave.
Aurora, CO 80014

Funeral Service: July 11, 2019 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Horan & McConaty - SE Denver/Aurora
11150 E. Dartmouth Ave.
Aurora, CO 80014

Reception: July 11, 2019 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm

Horan & McConaty - SE Denver/Aurora
11150 E. Dartmouth Ave.
Aurora, CO 80014

Room: HeartLight Center

Graveside Service: July 11, 2019 2:15 pm - 2:45 pm

Fort Logan National Cemetery
3698 South Sheridan Boulevard
Denver, CO 80236

(303) 761-0117

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Memories Timeline


  1. I have known Gary since we served together at Zweibrucken AFB, Germany in 1970. Gary was my NCOIC and also a close friend. We continued our friendship through the years. He was a good man, a good friend and I will miss him.

  2. Full military honors—what an achievement! All that travel sounds amazing! And, what a beautiful family! Well done, Gary! Sending love and good wishes to DeAnna and Pat and all the Hemmings family.

  3. Richard Lutes
    Kept in touch with Gary over 48 years. Have visited Gary the past 16 years. A great friend and a boss. Lots of good memories. Will miss him.

    • Richard, he looked so forward to your visits and calls. You were so good about keeping in touch with my dad and that meant the world to him.

  4. I have known Gary since 1975 at Lowry AFB Denver, Colorado. He was my best friend and my mentor. We were in touch all these years. My last visit with him was on April this year. So sad and will miss him

    • Freddie,
      You were such a dear friend to my dad. He thought of you and your family as his own. I can’t thank you enough for coming so far to attend the funeral. I know he saw and that it meant the world to him.

  5. My daughter and I met MstSgt Hemmings at Pine Grove Crossing, where my mother is staying, and enjoyed him so much. Always making light of his medical issues, and interested in our farm and horses. He was so delightful, and we will miss his marvelous sense of humor. We were privileged to have shared even a short while with him

    • Nancy,
      My father enjoyed talking to you, your mom and your daughter so much. He would tell me about it every time. He was so impressed with your mother’s political career and loved discussing horses and farm life with you and your daughter. I think talking to all of you was the highlight of his days at Pinegrove. I know you asked about the funeral details, and I don’t know if you were able to get that information on time, but I asked Pinegrove to send you the details. Thanks again for being so kind to my father.

  6. Dad,
    I always told you that you were the most-loved father in the whole world and that will never change. You are my best friend and my protector and will stay alive in my heart forever. Thanks for everything you’ve done for us—I know your sacrifices were great.
    I love you with all my heart.

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