Monte Vista Newspaper | Longtime Monte Vista resident Ray Skeff dies at 83

Longtime Monte Vista resident Raymond Nathan “Ray” Skeff died on April 7, 2022. Arrangements are pending and will be announced by the Rogers Family Mortuary in Monte Vista.

A week ago, Ray and his wife, Colette Skeff, cut 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 at the nature trail dedication about the impact of the Skeffs.

“They’ve invested thousands of community hours, donated countless dollars, and been a pillar to lean on when our community needed a helping hand,” Dennis said. “It’s so exciting to share this moment with them. Dedicate a nature trail that will be part of our community as the Skeffs have been for decades to come.

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

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

The couple donated thousands of dollars to community projects and dedicated even more hours to worthy causes in the San Luis Valley.

Ray and Colette once owned the Skeff Service Center appliance store in Monte Vista as well as the Skeff furniture storefront.

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

Both Ray and Collette were extremely active with the Upper Rio Grande Animal Society in Monte Vista. They were instrumental in modernizing and expanding the shelter, and almost single-handedly financed and built the pet crematorium that is used today to help the shelter financially.

For nearly 20 years, Ray and Collette have provided scholarships to graduates of Monte Vista and Center High Schools. The couple supported in one way or another all the youth groups in the valley. Ray graduated from Center High School.

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

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