gmhTODAY Winter 2023 - Page 27

time and took an interest in spending time with each of his grandkids , doing things with them that were specific to their interests and personalities . He celebrated them for the unique and special kids they were .
His horse ranch in SJB was a huge source of pride . He loved riding his horse , Price , and being a cowboy , with time at the ranch an escape from the daily pressures and responsibilities of operating a global company . He spent hours there , making memories with his grandkids .
Ken remembers the holidays growing up as being especially fun , " We all would sit around the table playing fun but intense games of " Red Dog " for quarters ."
As the grandkids grew , Don taught them the importance of community . His interest in , and commitment to the youth of Gilroy , and in providing resources for their future success , inspired the grandkids to adopt the same spirit of giving .
“ It ’ s the genesis of the Christopher Ranch Foundation ,” Ken said . " My grandfather led a life filled with outpourings of kindness for others , being good to our neighbors , and inspiring others .” He envisions the Foundation as the driving force to fulfill his grandfather ’ s legacy .
In a family statement , Don ’ s son Rob shared , “ Dad had a bigger-than-life personality , yet was a role model who lived what he preached more than any man I ever met . He valued hard work , was devoted to family , could admit his mistakes and dealt honestly with everyone .”
Grandson Jason told the Monterey Herald , “ The greatest compliment I ever had was that I remind them of my grandpa .”
Son Bill shared with the Gilroy Dispatch , “ My dad taught us how to treat everyone , no matter who they are , with respect and kindness . These lessons learned from him will carry on through myself and my family .”
“ He taught me to do the right thing , no matter how hard , each and every time ,” Ken shared .
Don ’ s life was remarkable in many ways . His impact will continue to be felt for generations in our community and in the generations who succeed him in his own family . Don led with integrity , character and compassion for others . He not only left clues , but also intentionally imparted wisdom and lessons to his sons and grandsons . It appears they all paid attention . Great men raise great men .
Icon . Philanthropist . Family man . Friend . Many things to many people . Above all , Don was a great example of a life well lived .
gmhTODAY thanks the Christopher family , Christopher Ranch , J . Chris and Larry Mickartz , the Gilroy Dispatch , the Monterey Herald , the Gilroy Garlic Festival Association , and Gilroy Unified School District for providing information that contributed to this article . For more information , please contact us or visit our website at : gmhTODAY . com

Cozy up to the fire with your favorite glass of wine and copy of The Gilroy Garlic Festival Playbook . The perfect time to take a trip down memory lane !

The
By J . Chris & Larry Mickartz
For the Love of Garlic and Community
AN AMAZING STORY of COMMUNITY , THAT STARTED IN THE SUMMER OF 1978 WITH A FEW VERY AMBITIOUS COMMUNITY MEMBERS AND A DREAM . AFTER OVER 40 YEARS OF SUCCESS ,
IT HAS GIVEN GILROY A LEGACY OF COMMUNITY PRIDE .

Order online at ; ggfplaybook . com

10 % of each book sold is donated to the Gilroy Garlic Festival Association for their support of local nonprofits .
Copies also available at the California Welcome Center , 8155-6 Arroyo Circle , Gilroy
gmhtoday . com gmhTODAY Magazine WINTER 2023 27