Pat Gormley descendent of Glade Park pioneers passed away at 84
DS Headline: Pat Gormley dies;
civic leader, banker
who ‘left his mark’
By Gary Harmon
Thursday, July 9, 2015
A memorial service is to be scheduled for Pat Gormley, banker, a pillar of downtown, Fulbright scholar, Colorado College ambassador, scion of Glade Park settlers and Grand Junction’s unofficial historian.
Gormley died Wednesday. He was 84.
“He’s been such an active part of the community,” said a son, John. “He loved Grand Junction and all the things he was involved in is what kept him going.”
Gormley was involved in the Colorado Riverfront Project, the redevelopment of the Avalon Theatre, the Mesa County Land Conservancy and St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation, John Gormley said.
He also served on the board of Colorado College and was on the US West Communications Colorado advisory board. He also was a member of the Colorado Water Conservation Board and the state’s Water Resources Power Development Authority. He also served on the Wayne N. Aspinall and Herb Bacon foundations, as well as being a longtime member of the Grand Junction Rotary Club.
“He had a deep passion for the heritage and history of Mesa County,” said Rob Bleiberg, executive director of the land conservancy, who keeps a photo of Gormley with Glade Park rancher Jay Van Loan handy as a reminder of that history.
“He was an amazing encyclopedia of Grand Junction history,” said David Bailey, curator of history at the Museum of Western Colorado.
Once stumped about the identities of people in a turn-of-the-century baseball photo, the museum turned to Gormley, who identified them, Bailey said.
If he had a question about Grand Junction, “I called him,” said Herb Bacon, a friend and banking competitor. “It was easier than getting a book.”
Bacon ran the downtown bank now owned by Wells Fargo. Gormley ran Mesa Federal Savings and Loan.
Questioned once by bank examiners about his board, which included many family members, Bacon told them he could resolve their concerns by bringing on Gormley. “It’s funny. He was a Democrat, I’m a Republican. He was an Episcopalian and I’m a Methodist.” Bacon said. “I had great respect for him.”
Another banker, Bill Sisson, kept Gormley on board when Mesa Federal was swept up, unfairly so, in the savings-and-loan failures of the 1980s and 1990s, Sisson said. The institution is now ANB Bank.
Gormley “was instrumental in rebuilding it into a very successful commercial bank,” Sisson said.
“There were a lot of people he helped in the S-and-L days when he probably shouldn’t have, but he saved them from financial ruin,” Sisson said. “He’s done it all; he left a mark.”
Gormley is survived by his wife, Ruth, and two other sons, Thomas and James.
Note: Patrick Gormley is a direct descendent of