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John Woodbury Prior, 65

Posted: Friday, Jul 25th, 2014

John Woodbury Prior, of Mosca, CO passed away July 9, 2014 in Pueblo, CO; shortly after America’s birthday and before his 66th birthday.

He was born July 22, 1948 in Yuma, AZ to Perley (Sarge) Prior and Madaline (Grammy) Uhl.  He married Gay Baird on July 19, 1977.  They met at the Baca Grande restaurant in Crestone when he was listening to his favorite band: Tumbleweed.    

John (JP) served and fought for his country during the Vietnam War.  He was a combat medic in the U.S. Navy and took care of the Marines during his time in Vietnam.  JP loved America and all his brothers who served.  He became an advocate for all Veterans and had a passion for helping those that had returned from combat that were struggling and dealing with PTSD.  He helped out and volunteered many hours to counsel those servicemen and servicewomen who served to protect our freedom.  

JP loved the outdoors and enjoyed photography to capture the beauty of the mountains and the San Luis Valley.  He took his family to the mountains for camping and fishing, and later in life loved playing the game of golf.

He worked at the Monte Vista Journal as a writer, was a Senior Editor for the South Coloradan, and a sports broadcaster for local games.  He also loved reading, writing, and poetry.  He had an infectious passion for sports, especially the Denver Broncos.  He loved watching his sons play sports and coached them in Little League Baseball and Basketball and was always involved until they were finished playing sports through college.

JP had a wit about him, has passed on much of his wisdom, and was loved by all his family and friends.  

He is survived by his wife Gay, his sons John Nickolas Prior and Kevin (Crystal) Gordon Prior, his sisters Patty, Susan, and Mary (Steve) Russell and their son Jesse Russell, and 1 brother Ted Prior.  He has two nieces: Shannon (Stephan) Baley and their two daughters and Heather Hammermeister.

A memorial/military service will be held on August 3, 2014 at the Russell Ranch in Alamosa, CO at 10 a.m.  Take Hwy 160/285 west towards Monte Vista and turn right on Sierra Vista Lane and follow the signs to the service.  In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to JP’s Combat Veteran Counseling Memorial Fund.  

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