Remembering Gary

Remembering Gary

Gary Fornander was a teacher, friend, and an outstanding advocate for effective, open and transparent government. Gary passed away on February 3, 2018.

Gary Fornander served on the Colorado Common Cause board of directors for 23 years–almost a quarter of a century. During this time, he was instrumental in crafting and implementing our election, voter protection, and campaign finance work in Denver and Colorado Springs. His passion for creating a more responsive, transparent and accountable government was palpable–and was matched by his in-depth knowledge of law and policy.

The following are memories of Gary from our staff, fellow board members, and Colorado Common Cause members. If you would like to contribute to this memorial, please send your story, memory, or pictures of Gary to

“I’ll always remember Gary’s ever-present smile, and his laugh.  He was one of the kindest and gentlest people I’ve known, and at the same time, he was very serious about the issues he was working on or talking about.  He was very thoughtful in every respect, including in his responses on policy issues, and always thought of some of the most relevant and penetrating questions.  He was one of our rocks, someone you could always count on.  If you needed something done, you’d go to Gary, knowing that he’d never let you down.  But most of all, I’ll miss his laugh.”- Jeff Hart, Colorado Common Cause Board Chair

“I just recently joined the board, so my association with Gary was much too short. Gary stood out to me because he was soft spoken and at the same time commanded attention. He earned that attention via his intellect, his common sense and his grasp of complex legal and social issues. All of Colorado will certainly miss his continued contribution to Common Cause.” – Jim Kennel, Colorado Common Cause Board Member (2017-present)

“Gary was one of the first people I met when I joined the Colorado Common Cause board. When I arrived at my first board meeting, he immediately struck up a conversation with me and within minutes discovered that we had a number of mutual friends in Colorado Springs. Gary’s genuine warmth and interest in my background made me feel so welcome as a new board member. Though I didn’t have an opportunity to work with Gary for long, I shall never forget his kindness, intelligence, and dedication to our cause. He was truly a remarkable person — a giant in my book.” – Sue Catterall, Colorado Common Cause Board Member (2017-present)

“More than anything, I admired Gary’s humility. He was an extremely intelligent man, but was never pushy or arrogant – rather, he was kind, thoughtful and articulate when discussing policy issues. I will miss him greatly.” – Caroline Fry, Advocacy & Media Manager, Colorado Common Cause