Victor "Vic" Fernandez
August 21, 1937
September 16, 2021
Vic passed away on September 16,2021, at Pikes Peak Hospice, Penrose Hospital, after an 8- month battle with lymphoma cancer.
Vic was born in Trinidad, Colorado, on August 21, 1937, the first of seven children in the family of Valentine and Genevieve Fernandez.
Vic graduated from Holy Trinity Catholic School in 1955, and at age 17 entered West Point, Class of 1959 After graduation he began a3}-year career doing what he loved-serving his country. During his career he served two tours in Panama, two tours in Vietnam, and two tours in Germany. There were also numerous stateside assignments.
Vic's military education included Artillery Officers Basic and Advanced Courses, Sanz School of Languages, the Army Installation Management Course, Command and General Staff College, and Army War College. His military awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Army Meritorious Serve Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Commendation Medal with five Oak Leaf Clusters, a Meritorious Unit Citation earned by the battery under his command in Vietnam, the National Defense Service Medal, and various Vietnam Campaign and Service awards.
When Vic retired from the Army in 1989, his family returned to Colorado Springs where he began a second career working as a Senior Urban Planner for HiggenbothamiBriggs and Associates and Nakata Planning Group. The work centered on Military Base Planning for Army and Air Force Installations. He finally retired at age 62.
Vic remained active in Veterans Affairs and his church. He was a member of EMGA, president of MOAA, a founding member of the Southeast Family Center and Armed Services YMCA, a founding member of the Home Front Cares which assists families of the military in combat. He was also a team leader for local citizens who greeted planes with troops returning from combat theaters. He was a founding member of the Knights of Columbus Council 12228 and served as Grand Knight for two years. He was also a member of the Pikes Peak Round Table.
Vic, alongside Col. Joe Henjum and Command Sgt. Ralph McCutchen, formed the Pikes Peak National Cemetery Committee in1999. The committee found an ally in US Congressman Doug Lamborn. After nearly two decades, the Pikes Peak National Cemetery was officially dedicated on May 25,2018. Vic's dream had finally become a reality.
Vic was named 2018 Veteran of the Year by El Paso County Veterans' Services. He was so honored to receive this award and proudly displayed it in our home. He said, "No person receives this honor alone." He was thinking of his committee and all the work that was done. "It's all about the veterans."
On a Thanksgiving night, at the Fort Carson Officers Club, Vic decided to play Bingo. While choosing his Bingo card, he saw Sherry Jean Shields across the table. He often joked that he won a rug and his future bride that night. They were each other's best friends, and they loved and laughed together for over 60 years.
Vic was preceded in death by his parents Val and Genevieve Fernandez, his beloved daughter Teresa Lynn, and his brothers Daniel and John. He is survived by his beloved wife Sherry, granddaughter Kat Taylor, brothers Dennis (Cheryl), Mitch, Gerard, and his sister Marian (Ron) Horton, his sisters-in-law Carol Fernandez (Daniel), Carol Fernandez (John), Valarie Book (Ron), brother-in-law Kevin Shields (Lynn), son-in-law Mark Sherratt, and 12 nieces and nephews.
The Funeral Mass will be held at 10:00 a.m. on October 13 at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 2650 Parish View, Colorado Springs. Vic will be laid to rest with fulI military honors at Pikes Peak National Cemetery at 3:00 on the same day. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Tunnels to Towers, Care and Share, or Wounded Warrior
Published by The Gazette from Oct. 11 to Oct. 13, 2021.