Phillip DeCaro ’53

Phillipp DeCaro ’53 died peacefully at home of heart failure.

Phil was awarded the CIA’s Intelligence Star for extreme courage under hazardous conditions (the medal awarded at the end of the movie “Argo”). Only a few hundred people have ever received this award. That’s the kind of person Phil was.

Phil went to Harvard University as an undergrad, although for a time no one believed he would graduate from high school. After Harvard, Phil walked into Stanford Law School in August, requesting admission for the coming school year. He was admitted.

Phil was a lawyer, an “Ivy League” rancher and horseman, a pilot, a ski patroller, a supreme athlete, a dependable friend, a counselor, a passionate advocate for progressive causes, a holder of a concealed-weapon carry card, and the most liberal person you’ve ever met. He was everyone’s “go-to” guy, because he always had a solution that was usually amazingly creative and effective. His laugh could rock the world.

Above all else, Phil was a family man. He was passionately in love with his wife, Gale Gatto, for 38 years. He was a supportive, loving and active father to his three children (Lisa, Lara and Phil), and a shamelessly doting PopPop to his three granddaughters (Ella, Annabelle and Pearl). He was a proud older brother to Jeffrey DeCaro and his wife, Terese; an adoring uncle to Dru, Tricia and Gina; and an encouraging friend to his former wife, Barbara (Lisa’s and Lara’s mother).

Phil’s favorite way to celebrate anything from birthdays and graduations to drop-by social visits was with an ice cream party ? He loved giving the kids too many sprinkles or too much whipped cream. Evergreen kids called him the Ice Cream King, but it was an informal title he’d had for more than 50 years.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Parkinson Association of the Rockies and the ACLU (National Foundation).

Family contact: Phillip G. DeCaro (son), at or 720-300-8079.

One thought on “Phillip DeCaro ’53”

  1. Phil was my freshman roommate at Harvard, along with two other people. After that, I basically lost contact with him. But reading his obituary, I’m very sad I did. Sounds like he was a terrific person who led an exciting, challenging, meaningful, and loving life. At Williston, we “ran” in the same pack. I suppose there were fifteen or so of us whom one would call close friends. We worked hard, played hard, and laughed a lot. Phil’s long-time roommate at Williston, Frank Slowick, was also one of the group. I was sad to hear of Phil’s passing, but even more sad that I didn’t share more in his life. He was undoubtedly one of those very good guys that will be sorely missed by his family and friends.

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