Like the blues he always listened to while painting in his studio—B.B. King and Stevie Ray Vaughn were his idols—Paco immersed himself in pursuits rich in tradition and sensation, which is why he loved fly fishing with bamboo rods, calling in ducks over decoys with his Lab, Mattie, at his side and his Model 12 in hand, and following a setter through the grouse and woodcock woods with his favorite side-by-side. They appealed to his artist`s eye and to his abiding belief that how you approach an objective is every bit as important as achieving it.
If you were to ask Paco what he was most proud of, it would be that he had absolutely no regrets: He was always his own man, never answering to anyone, and he remained true to himself while treating others fairly and honestly. And that he`d been able to live in Montana with his wife and son whom he adored, painting whatever he wanted for a living. Not long ago he said, "Everybody tells me that I`m going to a better place, but how`s that possible? How can I be any happier than where I am right now?"
What made Paco so special to his friends was his easy and outgoing nature, his generosity and loyalty, the trust he engendered because it was so apparent what an honorable man he was. Most of all, he had keen wit and a limitless capacity to laugh at himself and with others. An intelligent conversationalist and spirited teaser, he never took himself too seriously, and yet he was passionate about everything he did.
For years Paco has had this motto hanging from his easel: "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body; but rather to skid in broadside thoroughly used up, totally worn out and proclaiming-WOW! WHAT A RIDE!!" What a perfect description of this life we all cherished, this man we are so proud to have known. It`s been a heck of a ride, Paco. We`re going to miss you.
A "casual" service - a celebration of Paco's life will be held on Friday, December 9th, 2005 at the Gallatin Gateway Community Center from 4:00pm - 6:00pm. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Graham Parker Young College Fund, First Interstate Bank, P.O. Box 10910, Bozeman, Montana 59719.
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