Home Records Obituaries Gary Wayne Cozzens

Gary Wayne Cozzens

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Gary Wayne Cozzens, 62, of Nogal passed away Tuesday July 31, 2018. A Graveside Memorial Service will be held at the Capitan Cemetery on Tuesday, August 14 at 11:00 A.M.

Gary was born January 20, 1956 in Hobbs, New Mexico to L. C. and Mary Lou Cozzens who preceded him in death. Gary grew up in Portales, NM and graduated from Portales High School in 1974. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from Eastern New Mexico University. Upon graduation from Eastern, Gary was commissioned as an officer in the United States Marine Corps. During his 24 years as a Marine Infantry Officer, Gary rose to the rank of Major and served in numerous capacities but was especially honored to have served as Captain of 1st Battalion, 7th Marines – a unit Marines refer to as “Suicide Charley.” Among his military decorations were the Southwest Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Kuwait Liberation Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal and the Korean Defense Service Medal. Upon retirement, Gary returned to New Mexico and the Lincoln County area. He worked for many years in numerous capacities for the Region IX Education Cooperative. His love of the history of New Mexico prompted Gary to leave REC IX and assume the position as manager of the Lincoln Historic Site in Lincoln, NM. Gary retired from that position in 2016.

Gary loved to study history and to write about history. He has 3 published books regarding the Lincoln County Area – The Nogal Mesa, Capitan, and Tres Ritos. At the time of his death, he was working on a book recording the history of the many schools that have existed in Lincoln County – many of which are no longer in existence. He has also had articles appear in Marine Corps publications and various New Mexico history publications.

Gary is survived by his wife, Shirley Crawford, of the home. Their daughter Kristi Flores resides in Roswell with daughters Ridley and Audrianna. Also surviving Gary are sisters Glenda Sears of Flower Mound, TX, her husband Jeff and sons Jack and James; Gail Scott of Olney, TX, her husband Dickie and daughters Sydnee and Kodee; and Grace Moore of Rio Rancho, NM, her husband Mike and children Lauren and Shawn. Gary also shared a special relationship with his Uncle Doyle Cozzens of Roswell and cousin Bob Parsons of Dexter. Gary was blessed to have numerous cousins, aunts, uncles and special friends share his life. He will also be missed by his beloved Golden Retrievers Gus and Molly as well as the cat who was grudgingly tolerated.

For those wanting to make a special donation to honor Gary’s memory, the family requests that donations be made to the Semper Fi Fund. Website can be found at semperfifund.org.

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