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WESTMINSTER, Colo. (KDVR) — A former Westminster firefighter died from COVID-19 complications, the Westminster Police Department said Thursday.

Gary Pedigo Sr. died Wednesday morning.

According to WPD, Pedigo began his career as a Westminster firefighter in 1976. For 36 years, he served various roles in the Westminster Fire Department, including battalion chief, training chief and fire marshal.

Pedigo retired from the fire department in June 2012. Five months later, he joined the police department as an equipment services technician.

Before he became a firefighter, Pedigo served in the Vietnam War. He joined the U.S. Army in 1968 and was honorably discharged in 1971.

“Gary was always willing to help and had a smile on his face. Gary’s passing is a huge loss to both the fire and police departments, as well as the citizens of Westminster. Our deepest condolences go out to Gary’s family and friends,” WPD said on Facebook.

According to the police department, Pedigo leaves behind Jacquie, his wife of 47 years, as well as his four children, 15 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

Authorities did not say how old Pedigo was when he passed.

The Dawg Nation Hockey Foundation has established a fundraiser for Pedigo’s family. You can make a donation online.

Dawg Nation sent the following statement about Pedigo:

“Gary Pedigo was fixture in Colorado hockey community. Always quick with a smile and pat on the back, he was a husband, father, grandfather and friend to many. Dedicating his life to others, you will not find a better man than Gary Pedigo. Our deepest condolences go out to family in this difficult time.”