Darwin Ray Rather (August 20, 1928 — January 11, 2019)
It is with deep remorse that we announce the passing of Darwin Ray Rather, 90, of Basalt, Colorado. He passed away January 11, at Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, with his family at his side.
Ray was born in Sudan, Texas, August 20, 1928. He and his parents, Sam and Opal Rather, moved from Texas to New Mexico and on to southwest Colorado when Ray was in his early teens. In 1946 Ray graduated from Bayfield High School in Bayfield, Colorado. In 1948 while attending Fort Lewis College in Durango, Ray met his wife to be, Maxine Wilbourn. They were married March 20th, 1950, and their first child Linda arrived in 1952 and their second Larry in 1955.
In 1960 the family moved to Aspen where Ray was involved in the construction of the Castle Creek Bridge. He and Maxine so loved the Roaring Fork Valley that they decided stay and moved to Basalt in 1963. In 1968 they moved onto their ranch in Emma, where Maxine still resides.
A loving husband and father first, Ray was also a rancher, builder, gardener and later in his life an artist.
As a rancher he enjoyed everything from frigid nights during calving season to the hot summer days on a tractor. As a builder he could fabricate just about anything. He could figure out designs on a piece of plywood that some couldn’t figure out with computers. As an artist he worked with leather tooling, painting, photography and landscape architecture.
He was a lover of the lord and all the mysteries of his creation. He was in awe of the world around him and bestowed that amazement upon his family. His most joyous pursuits were in the outdoors on horseback or afoot. There were few things he appreciated more than a meadow full of wildflowers. He and his family made many excursions into the Elk Mountains, the Flat Tops and his favorite the San Juan Mountains just to enjoy the beauty. As he aged he worked to replicate the beauty he’d seen in the mountains in his gardens at home. We will forever know he lives on in the beauty he created and shared with his family. He often said, “You are closest to God when you are in the garden.”
Respected within his community, Ray was often sought out by friends and neighbors for his understanding and wisdom.
He will be greatly missed by all.
Ray is survived by his wife of 68 years, Maxine, and his daughter Linda Thompson of Glenwood Springs and her two daughters, Stacy Weyand of Cortez and Heather Russell of Rifle, his son Larry Rather of Basalt and his sons Jesse of Blue Lake ,CA, Evan of Carbondale, CO, and daughter Hanna Rather of Basalt, CO.
Cremation will take place after the service that is set Friday, January 18, 2019, at 1:00 P.M. at Grace Church of the Roaring Fork, 1776 Emma Road, Basalt, Colorado. A viewing will take place from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM prior to the service.
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