Raymond Lee Guerrie
March 29, 1934 – September 25, 2019
Raymond Lee Guerrie passed away peacefully during the early morning hours of September 25, 2019, at age 85 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, after a short battle with pancreatic cancer. He was born on March 29, 1934, to Alexander Lee Guerrie and Evalina Guerrie in Grand Junction, Colorado. He was the oldest of three brothers (Jack, Ralph and Ernest) and two sisters (Evelyn Steele and Carolyn Meyers). He was married to Marie (Grasso). Ray grew up in Grand Junction where he helped out on the family farm and attended Central Junior and Senior High schools. By the age of 5 he was performing for audiences on the accordion and had also begun playing trumpet and performing. Late in his life he could still play a mean polka after a couple glasses of wine (if you could talk him into it). Music was an important part of Ray’s life and he played a musical instrument as a lifelong pursuit. While living in Glenwood Springs he co-founded the Defiance Jazz Band and played in the local Community bands until his career made it impossible to continue doing so. Even then he would often play piano or organ in his spare time. He attended Western State College, Mesa College (now Colorado Mesa University), University of Oklahoma, and Graduate School at the University of Michigan, where his studies centered on business and finance. Ray was a proud veteran of the US Air Force (he carried his military ID card in his wallet until his passing). During his enlistment he was stationed in Washington and France where he was attached to the Air Police, before becoming a member of the 12th Air Force Band and subsequently being stationed in Ramstein, Germany. At the end of his deployment with the 12th Air Force Band he was stationed in New Mexico and attached to the Air Police Security Unit before being transferred to the Walker Air Force Base band where he ended his enlistment and returned to Grand Junction. Upon returning to Grand Junction Ray entered the field of finance. After working for a finance company and enduring many transfers he accepted a position with the First National Bank in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, where he would stay for many years. After the bank was bought by Central Bank he accepted a position as president where he chartered and opened the Central Bank branch in Battlement Mesa Colorado. When the branch was forced to close due to Exxon’s termination of their oil shale project, he accepted a position in the Denver area where he assumed the Presidency at the Central Bank of Broomfield, Colorado. During that time he also accepted a position as President of the Central Bank of Westminster where he would simultaneously run both banks until a merger forced him to accept an early retirement. Unwilling to buy a rocking chair and watch the world go by, he accepted a position with the Federal Government working for the FDIC/Resolution Trust where he became the receiver of many failed Savings and Loan institutions in both Colorado and California. Tired of the constant travel but not ready to retire, he accepted a position with the First National Bank of Arvada, where he remained until his retirement from the finance industry at 71 years of age in 2005 (when he was ready for his rocking chair). During his life Ray was active in politics and civic groups. In Glenwood Springs he was on the City Council and served as Mayor of the town. Ray declined an offer by his political party to run for a position in the Colorado State Senate because it would have taken him away from his beloved banking. However, he was appointed by the Governor of the State of Colorado to the Board of Community Colleges and Vocational Schools, where he served as Western Colorado Representative for two years. During his life he was also a long-term member of the Kiwanis, Rotary Clubs, and active in local business clubs and Chambers of Commerce. During his retirement Ray kept busy and immersed himself in the things he loved to do. Ray created many stained glass lamps and windows, including one that resides in the Catholic Church in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. He restored two classic cars during his retirement, a 1974 Corvette Stingray and a 1952 Cadillac sedan (which had originally been purchased by his wife’s aunt). He was active in several car clubs where he spent many happy hours participating in classic car shows, parades, and tours around the country. He always enjoyed the time he spent with family and friends and took every opportunity he had to spend time with them. He was always available to offer advice and assistance not only to family and friends but also acquaintances and colleagues. In 2017, Raymond and Marie (his wife) moved to Clemmons, North Carolina, so he could be closer to family and see his granddaughter graduate from high school. Raymond is survived by his wife of 64 years, Marie; son, Dan with his wife Rosalind and children Brad, Jeff and Dani; son, Dave with his wife Carole and step-daughters Kim and Samantha; brothers, Ralph Guerrie and wife Carolyn, Ernest Guerrie and his wife Kathy; sisters, Evelyn Steele and husband Larry, and Carolyn Meyers; along with many nieces, nephews, and cousins who he all loved deeply. He was preceded in death by his parents, Alexander Lee Guerrie, and Evalina Guerrie; and his younger brother, Jack Guerrie (January 30, 2015), who is survived by his widow, Mary. Memorial services will be held in Ray’s hometown of Grand Junction, Colorado, in the Chapel of Callahan-Edfast Funeral home on October 11, 2019 (2515 Patterson Road, Grand Junction Colorado) at 11:00AM. This will be followed by a service at the Colorado Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery (2830 Riverside Pkwy, Grand Junction) at 1:00PM on the same day. All are invited to join Ray’s family for this celebration of his life. In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family asks that you make a memorial gift in his name to the Trellis Supportive Care Foundation, 101 Hospice Lane, Winston-Salem, NC 27103, who so kindly helped the family care for him at the end of his life.
- Visitation Thursday, October 10, 2019
- Funeral Service Friday, October 11, 2019
Raymond Lee Guerrie
October 2, 2019
We are grateful for the part Ray played in our lives beginning with helping get the loan to start my dental practice to playing together in the Defiance Jazz Band. We have wonderful memories of gigs at the Underground, Saturday night in Parachute before Black Monday, and a rollicking trip to Halloween weekend in New Orleans.