Memory books in honor of the late Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Sergeant Damon Gutzwiller have been placed in several San Lorenzo Valley locations.The memory books are for the two children of the slain officer, who was ambushed and killed in Ben Lomond.
The intention is that San Lorenzo Valley residents will impart wishes, advice, condolences, wisdom and thoughts for the children to have in the future. Gutzwiller had two children, one not yet born.
“It will matter to them in years to come,” said Les Gardner, who was among those who helped initiate the memorial effort. “We want them to know their father was a hero who will be remembered for his service in our valley.” Those sentiments were echoed by Felton Fire Chief Robert Gray, whose father, the late Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Gray, was killed while on duty in Felton in 1983. Gray and Gutzwiller are the only fallen Santa Cruz County sheriff’s officers.
Gray, who was six-years-old when his father was killed, said that the cards and memorabilia given to him after his father’s death are cherished. He keeps them next to his bed and looks at them often. “It helps to know the community respected him,” said Gray.
“The memory books are certain to be cherished by Gutzwiller’s children when they’re older, he said. “I’m glad the community is doing this. It will mean is much to them.”
The memory books can be found at Liberty Bank in both Felton and Boulder Creek, Scarborough’s Ace Hardware in Ben Lomond, and Felton Fire Department.
An account for the children has also been established at Liberty Bank. Contributions are encouraged and may be made at both the Felton and Boulder Creek bank branches.
The memorial effort is organized and supported by: Les and Nancy Gardner, Robin Musitelli, Leslie Steiner, Bob Locatelli, Nancy Macy, George Wylie, Judy Anderson, Lynn Robinson, Bruce and Mary McPherson, Mark Stone, Ron and Cyndi Sekkel, Bob Gray, Jim and Michelle Mosher, Chris Finnie, and Laura Testa-Reyes.