Joy E. Gaither May 20, 1931 – September 18, 2013 Joy Erwin Gaither, 82, peacefully passed away at his lifelong residence in Palisade on September 18th, 2013. Joy was born in Arcadia, Nebraska on May 20th, 1931, to Roy Oliver Gaither, Methodist Minister and Ruby Whelan-Gaither, school teacher
. The family moved to Colorado in the early 40's and after a few years found their place in Palisade. Joy graduated in 1947 from Central High School and joined the Navy. After serving his time in Guam as a dental technician he returned home to attend CMU in its early years as a junior college. While there, he enjoyed singing in a quartet with his brother, Robert, and friends, Jack Weaver and Jim Walton. Shortly after school, he found his bride, Merlaine Gower. They dated for a short time and were married on June 2, 1956. Family plans quickly ensued. As he grew older he enjoyed collecting coins, star gazing, assembling puzzles, and riding the tractor through his peach orchard. However, his most enjoyed activity was spending time behind the cover of a book with a freshly brewed cup of coffee. To support his interests and his family, Joy did many things but mostly he spent his working years running his own carpet laying business and ultimately retiring from the school district as a custodian. Joy is preceded in death by both parents and all siblings; Jennet McCracken of CA; Ramona Wing of Grand Junction, CO, and Robert Gaither of NM. He is survived by his wife of 73 years, Merlaine; three sons, Roy Merrill Gaither of Palisade, CO; Renny Robert Gaither of Hamilton, OH, and Billy Gaither of Grand Junction, CO, and daughter, Ruth Rachelle Brandstoettner of Clifton, CO. He also leaves behind seven grandchildren. Joy touched many lives and treasured his church, family, friends, and community. He will surely be missed by all. Anyone wanting to bless the family is graciously asked to make any contributions to Crossroads United Methodist Church instead. A memorial will be held to celebrate Joy's life at Crossroads United Methodist Church on Monday, September 30th, 2013, at 11:00 a.m.