Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Garrett Ray, a great rural editor and publisher, passes

Garrett Ray
Garrett Ray, a widely respected weekly newspaper editor and publisher in Colorado, died Monday night at his home after a long battle with Parkinson's disease. He was 82.

Ray earned bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Colorado. After working for weekly newspapers in rural Colorado and Utah, he was editor and publisher of the Littleton Independent and the Arapahoe Herald.

“He was the soul of the community,” former city manager Larry Borger told David Gilbert of the Independent. “In the 1960s and '70s, lots of people were new to Littleton, and he provided a hometown feel. Through the Independent, he made Littleton a place people could connect to.”

After selling the papers in 1981, he produced and hosted community television programs before joining the journalism faculty at Colorado State University, and wrote a monthly Publishers’ Auxiliary column for the National Newspaper Association until retirement in 2001. He and his wife Nina "moved briefly to Wales, where he got a doctorate from Cardiff University, and moved back to Littleton in 2009, the Independent reports.

He was president of the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors, the Colorado Press Association and the Colorado chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and was a Knight Fellow at Stanford University. He joined the CPA Hall of Fame this year and won ISWNE's 1980 Golden Quill Award for editorial writing and its 2009 Eugene Cervi Award for a career of outstanding public service through community journalism. His friend Richard McCord of Santa Fe, N.M., said in announcing the award that Ray has won journalism awards for "almost anything you can win an award for."

A celebration of Ray's life is scheduled for 2 p.m. Dec. 30 at Columbine United Church, 6375 South Platte Canyon Road, Littleton.

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