GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (CBS4) – Family and friends say goodbye to a pastor who died while searching for buried treasure in New Mexico.
Pastor Paris Wallace is the second Coloradoan to die while looking for Forrest Fenn’s treasure. Fenn is a writer who buried the treasure, then wrote about it.
Wallace’s wife Mitzy wants the search to go on.
“I have no more tears,” Wallace says.
It’s been two weeks since the Grand Junction pastor’s body was discovered in the rugged New Mexico mountains.
Hundreds of friends gathered to say goodbye.
“I think that’s why so many people were here,” Wallace says. “Because they want to celebrate a man that just shared the love of Jesus. No frills, it’s just Paris is who Paris is.
The husband and wife team took full advantage of all the Rocky Mountains have to offer.
“Paris and I were talking just a week before he left for his trip to New Mexico how we love it here,” Wallace says.
The hunt for $2 million the New Mexico author hid in the mountains north of Santa Fe brought the couple closer together. When tragedy struck earlier this month, Paris was on a solo search.
His family says he wasn’t addicted to finding the treasure, but he did love the adventure that came along with the hunt, and he loved the mountains.
“When we heard about Fenn’s treasure, we thought ‘what an adventure, what an adventure,’ so we went out there and thought ‘hey someone has to find it, why not us,'” Wallace said. “He was not obsessed with it. It was just another way to get out in nature and enjoy one another.”
Thousands are lured by the clues for the treasure. Now that two hunters have died hunting down the gold, the New Mexico search and rescue teams are asking Fenn to call off the search.
“Many people have asked me, ‘what do you think? Should we call off the search? Should Fenn call off the search?’ and I say no,” Wallace says. “It was a wonderful time for us.”
His tragic death is not why so many people showed up for this memorial service, but his family says that’s because of how he lived his life serving others.