Giggey and Walsh honored
By Randy Beaudette
On Saturday, July 22, 2017 the Timberline fire community gathered to honor, and remember two guardians of Gilpin and Boulder Counties. George Giggey and Robert (Bob) Walsh now have stations dedicated in their honor. Station No. 1 was dedicated to Mr. Giggey and Station No. 6 was dedicated to Mr. Walsh. Families of both of these men attended the dedication and received a proclamation from Timberline Fire Board of Directors for the event.
The ceremonies drew a large crowd of friends, family, neighbors and fellow firefighters. Asst. Chief Galen Koepke presided over the Station 1 dedication while Asst. Chiefs Chip Smith and Chris Schimanski presided over the Station 6 ceremony.
According to an August 4, 2015 article in the Mountain-Ear, the Giggey family homesteaded the area on Magnolia road in the 1800’s. His parents moved to Dove Creek, Colorado where George was born July 31, 1931. When he was seven years old, the family returned by wagon to the Magnolia homestead where George lived out his life, the exception being a hitch in the Army as a Private First Class in Germany sometime in the 1950’s. Mr. Giggey recalled to his family about the adventures of traveling Magnolia Road by horse and wagon to shop in Boulder. It was an overnight or two-day trip. On the way they would rest the horses and have a picnic. He’d always plant an apple core if he had one. He said some of those apple trees in Boulder Canyon and on Magnolia Road grew there because of their trips to town. The family would often refer to him as “George Apple Seed.”
George married Blanche Earlene Beloit, on November 18, 1951, they lived at the Winiger homestead off Magnolia Road with his father, Charles Aden Giggey, whose health wasn’t good. He worked the many jobs associated with mountain ranching including raising cattle, farming, logging, and putting up hay. Other jobs he held later in life was a railroad worker, a pipefitter, and volunteer Fire Chief.
George was a founding member of the Pinecliffe Fire Department which was later included into the High Country Fire District. George donated the land and assisted in the construction of the very station that now bears his name.
George Giggey passed away on August 4, 2015 at his home. He is survived by four children: Sophia Mae Hayes Bernett, Christine Elaine, Shirley Joline, and George Leon Giggey II; nine grandchildren, and fourteen great-grandchildren.
Robert Duane Walsh (Bob) was born in Estherville, Iowa on February 15, 1931 and grew up in that area until the age of 17 when he enlisted in the Navy. He served during the Korean War. After his discharge from the Navy, he met then married Sally Creek in Chicago, Illinois on November 5, 1955. Their son Stephan was born in Chicago. The family then packed up and moved to Commerce City, Colorado where their son Kevin was born. Together they raised their two sons in Colorado while Bob worked various jobs.
Mr. Walsh started his fire career at South Adams County Fire before moving permanently to Gilpin County in 1990 after his retirement as a master electrical technician from AT&T. Soon after, he joined the Colorado Sierra Fire Protection District serving mid-Gilpin County and Dory Lakes. According to Former Chief Glenn Hoynoski, “I promoted Bob to (Colorado Sierra) Station 2 Captain right away due to his experience and abilities.” After the merger, CSFD No. 2 became Timberline Station No. 6. Walsh was seen as a fixture of Stations 2 and 6. He answered calls at all hours of the day or night and he kept his station equipment in the best condition that the budget would allow. Later Bob and Sally would winter in Florida and Arizona allowing him to get away from the harsh Colorado winters, but he would always return every spring ready to resume his duties with the fire service. After the merger with High Country, the two districts formed the Timberline Fire Protection District in which Walsh stayed with until his death on October 28, 2014. Mr. Walsh was a wonderful man who loved serving his community, a gifted mechanic, engineer, hard-working, classy, and dedicated. He loved hunting, fishing, the outdoors, and his work with the Fire Department. He was a quiet man, but when he spoke, people listened.
Mr. Walsh was survived by his wife Sally and two sons Stephan and Kevin, three grandchildren Shayeton, Delaney and Quentin, and numerous friends in the fire service.