Long-time Monte Vista resident Ray Skeff dies at 83

Photo by Brian Williams Ray and Colette Skeff attended the Ray and Colette Skeff Nature Trail dedication ceremony on March 31 in Monte Vista. Ray Skeff passed away on April 7.

Considered a 'pillar' of community by many

Long-time Monte Vista resident Raymond Nathan “Ray” Skeff, 83, passed away on April 7, 2022. Arrangements are pending and will be announced through Rogers Family Mortuary in Monte Vista.

A week ago, Ray and his wife, Colette Skeff, were cutting the ribbon on March 31 for a trail in Monte Vista named in their honor — the Ray and Colette Skeff Nature Trail.

Monte Vista City Manager Gigi Dennis spoke during the nature trail ribbon-cutting about the impact of the Skeffs.

“They have vested themselves in thousands of community hours donated countless dollars and have been a pillar to lean on when our community needed a hand up,” Dennis said. “This is so exciting to share this moment with them. Dedicate a nature trail that will be part of our community like the Skeffs have been for decades to come.”

Mayor Dale Becker also spoke at the ceremony and presented a plaque from the city to the Skeffs commemorating the day.

“These folks are a pillar of this community,” Becker said.

The couple has donated thousands of dollars to community projects and volunteered even more hours to worthwhile causes across the San Luis Valley.

Ray and Colette once owned the Skeff Service Center Appliance Store in Monte Vista as well as the Skeff Furniture Showcase.

The couple was considered “movers and shakers” within the SLV for many years. Ray served on the Rio Grande Hospital Board for 15 years providing the vision and leadership to implement the building of Rio Grande Hospital in Del Norte.

Ray and Collette were both extremely active in the Upper Rio Grande Animal Society in Monte Vista. They were instrumental in upgrading and expanding the shelter, and almost single-handedly financed and built the pet crematory which today is used to help financially sustain the shelter.

For nearly 20 years, Ray and Collette have been providing scholarships to graduating seniors at both the Monte Vista and Center high schools. The couple has supported all youth groups in the Valley in some manner or another. Ray graduated from Center High School.

They have been extremely supportive financially to Monte Vista Kids Connection which serves young children in after-school programs, as well as providing summer programs for underserved families.

To express condolences, please visit www.rogersfunerals.com.

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