Obituary: Otto L. “Punch” George
January 30, 1925- October 25, 2017
Lifetime South Routt resident, Otto L. “Punch” George, died peacefully surrounded by family at his home near Phippsburg. He was just shy of 93 years old. A graveside funeral service was held at 2:00 p.m., Monday, October 30, 2017, at Oak Creek Cemetery with Father Ernest Bayer presiding. Acting pallbearers were Robert George, William George, Jimmy George, Beverly George, Ben Petrini, Bridger Petrini, Bruce Rossi and Aaron Werner. Punch was laid to rest next to his beloved Vera. Otto L. George was born one of four children to Walter L. and Ethel (Edwards) George on January 30, 1925, in Bailey, Colorado. As a young boy, Punch sat outside the bars in Oak Creek with a punchboard trying to make extra money. The locals didn’t know the little boys name, so they gave him the nick name “Punch” and it stuck with him his entire life. While Punch was in the third grade, he was living on his own in a broken down shack alone. To make ends meet, Punch would find odd end jobs. He would often chop wood or pull a sleigh for miles in the snow to deliver pig feed. He never complained because he loved to work and he was proud that he was making it on his own. That same year in school, he met a 10-year-old girl named Vera McIntyre and the two of them became very good friends. Eventually, Punch and Vera began dating. The couple would go to the picture show; Vera dressed like a million bucks and Punch in his old Levis. It was obvious to others that no matter what they were doing, Punch and Vera loved being together. At the age of fifteen, Punch had to quit school to begin working. He found work in the local coal mines loading cars. When the coal mine was idle, he worked at Hagerman’s, the local Chevy garage as a mechanic. During World War II, shortly after Pearl Harbor was bombed, Punch joined the Marines. He served proudly in the South Pacific for four years. When he returned home, his beloved Vera was waiting for him. The couple married on September 28, 1945, in Brighton, Colorado. A few years into their marriage, they were the proud parents to Robert Glen and William Richard. In 1949, the couple were expecting their third child. Shortly after they received the news, Punch was called back to serve with the Marines during the Korean Conflict. After nine months of service, Punch returned home. The same day he returned home, Punch had to rush Vera to the hospital in Steamboat to deliver their son, Jimmy Lee. The family ranched on Trout Creek for several years before moving to Oak Creek. Punch was able to start ranching by being paid his wages with one bred cow and built from there to later become a very successful rancher. In 1955, the family welcomed home a baby girl, Beverly Jean. When Beverly was old enough, she was eager to help work on the ranch along side her brothers, still ranching today and raising horses. After 52 years of service with the coalmine, Punch retired and continued his lifelong passion to the ranch. What he loved the most, was to ride horses and work his teams. He would often say “Riding a horse is like being born all over again, riding off into the sunset in this beautiful country we live in, there’s nothing like it.” He also enjoyed his cattle and spending time outside working on his land. This American cowboy didn’t die because he lives on in the hearts of his family, friends and the ranching community that he loved. He will be deeply missed. Punch is survived by his four children, eight grandchildren, twelve great-grandchildren, one great great-grandchild and one great-grandchild on the way. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife; two brothers and one sister.
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