Bert Charles Ray

Bert Charles Ray, a longtime resident of Cortez, passed away on Dec. 20, 2013, at age 97. Bert was born in Jasper, Mo., on May 27, 1916.

After the death of his father, Bert took on the responsibility at age 14 of driving his mother, younger brother and sister from Oklahoma to Colorado. They eventually settled in Cortez when their car ran out of gas.

Bert graduated from Cortez High School in 1937. He was senior class and student body president.

Bert was married to Pearl Ilena (Belcher) Ray in 1937, until her death in 1999. Bert owned the Palace Barber Shop on Main near Market Street, served his country in the U.S. Navy during WWII, worked as a banker in Citizens State Bank and First National Bank, operated the Sands Motel and trained and raised race horses for himself and others.

Bert is survived by his son, Gary K. and Connie Ray of Denver and Mesa, Ariz.; and by his daughter, Penny G. Livingston and Ron Rosenbaugh of Cortez. He has four grandchildren, Brent C. Ray, Mendee Ray Livingston, Scott C. Ray and Kyle Ray Livingston; and four great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Pearl; his brother, Floyd Ray; his sister, La Verna B. Thornberry; and by his daughter, Zana Ray.

Bert was a 32nd-degree Mason, a member of the American Legion, VFW and the Cortez Elks. Bert was a member of the St. Barnabas Episcopal Church and will be interned at the columbarium beside his wife Pearl, brother and sister in-law, Floyd and Helen Ray.

The family plans a memorial service at a later date.

In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be given to Hospice of Montezuma. The family of Bert Charles Ray wishes to express their heartfelt thanks to all who gave of their hearts and assistance in the care of Bert.

Arrangements are being made through Ertel Funeral Home. To send condolences click on the obituary section at