Gregory Wade Pickard was born February 4, 1959, in Guymon, Oklahoma. He was the second son of four children born to Robert and Carla Pickard. Robert was a ranch manager for most of Greg’s youth. Because of this, Greg quickly developed a love of the outdoors and animals, especially horses. Eventually they ended up in Italy, Texas, where the family put down roots.
He was blessed to find Susie, the love of his life, at the age of 17. From that day on the two were inseparable. After a four-year courtship they were wed on June 21, 1980, in Italy. Soon after, they moved to College Station, Texas, where they both attended Texas A&M University. While Susie pursued a career in education, Greg realized his true passion was firefighting when he joined the Bryan Fire Department in 1980.
Greg and Susie welcomed their first child, Robin Blair, in March 1983. Greg loved being a dad and took to it right away. Any time he wasn’t at the fire station was spent at home with his family. Robin was a daddy’s girl, and he was so proud of the mother that she became. In 1987, Greg was thrilled to welcome his son, Jacob Wade, born on the 4th of July. Jake adored his dad and wanted to be just like him. Greg was so proud to have the honor of pinning his son when he joined the College Station Fire Department.
In his career as a firefighter, Greg was a former member of the Texas Task Force 1 and an original member of the Bryan Fire Department Rescue Team. His leadership after the Texas A&M University Bonfire collapse as rescue division commander was exceptional. His grace under pressure helped keep others focused on the difficult task before them. He progressed through the ranks to become battalion chief from 1999-2005 before choosing to step back to lieutenant to finish out his career. He served as a mentor to many throughout his 32 years of service.
Greg had such a passion for life and knew how to get the most out of every day. Summers with the family were spent traveling in the RV, which was what he loved doing most. He also developed a passion for golfing and passed it onto his entire family. He knew the value of hard work, but always remembered to have fun, too.
Greg devoted his life to serving others. If someone was in need, he was never far away. He exemplified what it meant to be a good son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, and friend. Those he leaves behind aspire to make him proud and live up to the extraordinary example that he set for us.