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Hugh 'Mac' Gaines

Hugh "Mac" Gaines, 83, passed away peacefully surrounded by his loved ones in Loveland, Colo., on September 5, 2021.

Mac was born June 17, 1938, in Caldwell, Idaho, to Ivan "Hugh" and Roberta (Dayley) Gaines. Mac graduated from Marsing High School in Marsing, Idaho, in 1956. He then served 3 years in the Army stationed in Greenland where he was a Marksman. Upon his honorable discharge from the service, he returned to his parents' home in Pocatello, Idaho.

Karen Ashby lived across the street on Randolph and "hung out" with the Gaines family, not yet knowing Mac. As they were all sitting in the living room, the 1958 Yellowstone earthquake shook, and changed their lives forever. Karen said that she knew then that Mac was the one for her. Mac and Karen were married nearly 61 years.

They moved their life journey to California, where Mac was a supervisor of a large department store called Gemco.

Ten years later, they moved to Laramie, Wyoming and owned and operated Westgate Ski and Sports for the next 11 years. He was beckoned to become an insurance agent for Allstate until his retirement in 1999.

Mac and Karen traveled across the country in a 5th wheel camper, but they needed to be closer to family and have a place to hang their hat.

They found their paradise in Thermopolis, Wyo., where they had a ranch for 16 years, raising cattle and sheep. Mac had a love for horses and would bring cattle down from the mountains on a two-day journey with his favorite horse, Apache. Mac camped out on a bedroll under the stars with his horse close by.

In 2019, they settled in Fort Collins, Colo., to spend time with their grandchildren. Mac not only had a love for horses, but he loved to play pickleball, golf, and spent hours in his shop woodworking. Above all, Mac loved his family and loved his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Mac is survived by his wife Karen of Fort Collins, Colo.; daughter, Michelle (Damon) Landry of Wellington, Colo.; daughter, Lauri (Tom) Olsen of Thermopolis, Wyo.; son, Todd (Katie) Gaines of San Antonio, Texas; brother, Rick Gaines of Belgrade, Mont.; grandchildren, Lindsey (Jeff) Pyle, Nick Brown, Kaleb (Keisha) Olsen, Kylie Olsen, Katie Olsen, Kameron Olsen, Colin Gaines, Ayden Gaines, and Kelton Gaines; and great-grandchildren, Nick, Branson, and Reece Pyle.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Hugh and Roberta; and his brother, Steven Gaines.

A Celebration of Life was held Monday, September 13 at River of Life Church in Wellington, Colo. A second Celebration of Life will be held in Thermopolis, Wyo., at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to River of Life Church for their youth program, The Amp, (3712 Cleveland Avenue, Wellington, CO 80549). Please visit to share condolences with his family.


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