Sergio Abila was born May 19, 1929 at the family homestead in Redwing, Colorado. Sergio grew up in the homestead and attended school in Redwing. After school and working the homestead for s short while, Sergio joined the Army and after distinguished service to our Country, returned to his home in Huerfano County.
Sergio’s dream was to own and operate the ranch where he grew up. At age 24, he embarked on that dream with a few acres of land and a few head of cattle. Through hard work and good business sense, Sergio started accumulating land and became a successful rancher with nearly 6,000 acres in both Huerfano and Las Animas Counties.
Sergio soon realized that ranching alone would not satisfy all his dreams. His understanding of business and economies gave birth to several other enterprises. Sergio purchased Central Tavern in Walsenburg and later, Gardner General Store, or “The Station” as everyone called it. Dozens of people benefited from his endeavors. Some as employees, and others from “side jobs” like wood cutting, and some just from enjoying the atmosphere that surrounded Sergio in all that he did. Sergio realized that he could provide goods and services beyond the confines of Huerfano and Las Animas Counties and began expanding his business to surrounding counties, then nearby states and ultimately, into foreign lands.
Having built on the successes he had already enjoyed, Sergio decided to try something new. He worked with an experimental crop which is now widely grown throughout the country.
Sergio had a big heart and as a humanitarian, helped people in other ways. Realizing the financial struggles of others, Sergio helped many people during difficult times in their lives. Extending credit without any assurance that the debts would be cured made no difference to him. He willingly offered assistance to those in need.
Life for Sergio was not always easy. At an early age, Sergio was bitten by a rattlesnake and had to cut his own arm and suck out the poison himself. Thrown from a horse ended in a broken pelvis which took months to heal but didn’t take him from his work. As he advanced in age, Sergio had a heart valve replaced and suffered several strokes which restricted his activities but never affected his positive attitude and continued to inspire those around him.
Listening to the endeavors of Sergio’s life, one assumes he couldn’t have had time for a family. Not so, Sergio was a loving husband to his wife Dora of 46 years and with her, raised nine children and took time to give back to his community by serving on the school board to help insure the quality of the education they received.
In summary, Sergio Abila set the standard for what could be achieved from humble beginnings and through hard work, love, compassion and good sense made Huerfano County a better place and will always be a legend in the hearts of those that knew him, and indeed to the whole of Huerfano County.