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Remembering Ray Powers

Former Colorado Sen. Ray Powers died Sept. 19 at his home at the Powers Ranch, east of Colorado Springs.Ray, 79, was a Colorado native. He was born June 27, 1929, to Cora and Guy Powers. Ray’s father died in an accident when Ray was a teenager.Developer Bill Smartt named Powers Boulevard after Ray, paying tribute to Ray’s accomplishments.Ray began his political career in the Colorado House in 1978. Elected five times to the Colorado Senate from District 10, he served 22 years. He left the Senate as its president.Ray also worked as a dairy farmer, rancher and businessman and was an influential voice for agriculture in the Colorado Legislature and elsewhere.His legislative achievements included a 1997 highway funding bill that provided $200 million a year for highway funding. He sponsored the State Income Tax Refund bill for Colorado Veterans, the Always Buy Colorado bill and pushed for issues like right to farm legislation, additional judges for El Paso County, ending federal state mandates and improving Colorado highways.During his decades of service, Ray received numerous awards: Businessman’s Award, Farm Bureau Agriculturist of the Year and United Veterans Committee Senator of the Year. He also served as the president of the Colorado 4-H Club and was a gold member of the Colorado Cattleman’s Association. The Colorado Union of Taxpayers rated Ray as the “tax cutter of the year” three out of six years.He loved to travel and in his later years enjoyed taking cruises with his wife, Dorothy. In recent years, he and Dorothy wintered in Tucson, Ariz.Ray leaves behind Dorothy, daughter Janet (and Dale), stepson Steve (and Judi), five grandchildren and nine great grandchildren, his sister, Marjorie (and Leo) Morford of Colorado; long-time employee, Dan; and his dog, Cinnamon.Ray was preceded in death by his parents and brothers Kenneth and Clifford.The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the “Ray Powers Memorial” at First Nazarene Church at 4120 E. Fountain Blvd. in Colorado Springs.

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