Raymond Leroy Colyer
Raymond Leroy Colyer, 94, of Bruneau passed away peacefully from natural causes on Monday, June 10, 2019 at a Boise care facility.
Ray was born September 15, 1924 to Troy Guy and Lois Emery Colyer in Castleford, Idaho. He was raised with four brothers and two sisters and attended school in Three Creek. After graduating from 8th grade, he went to work full time for his neighbors, the Hawes family. It was during his time in their employment while taking cattle to Bruneau for the winter that he met the love of his life, Bonnie Black. Ray was drafted into the Army on January 27, 1945 and was sent to Camp Roberts, CA for basic training. While home on furlough, Ray and Bonnie eloped to Elko, NV on June 25, 1945 to be married. With World War II raging on, Ray was soon sent to Japan. He was scheduled to be one of the first troops to land on the coast of Japan, but while in route, the atomic bomb was dropped so he was part of the occupational forces. He spent his 21st and 22nd birthdays in Japan, a period of 14 months. After his discharge from the Army, he and Bonnie returned to Three Creek and worked for the Hawes family at House Creek. Their daughter, Catherine Rae, was born in 1947. They survived the winter of 1948-49, one of the coldest on record, feeding cattle with a sleigh and team of horses. In August of 1949, they made a life changing decision to move to Bruneau to work for Bonnie’s family on the ranch. They bought a small house in the town of Bruneau. Their son, James Guy, was born in 1950 and two years later they moved to the ranch where they resided the rest of their lives. He loved riding horses, herding cattle and staying at their “little red cabin” on Battle Creek. Through years of hard work and dedication, Colyer Cattle Company was created and became the foundation of the ranch that grew and evolved into what it is today. Ray’s greatest pleasure was when he was braiding rawhide and he made sets of reins for his kids, grandkids and many others. A set of his reins was given away at the annual Colyer Bull Sale for many years.
Ray was a member of the Bruneau American Legion Post #83 for 76 years and past commander, was a member and served as president of the Owyhee Cattlemen’s Association, member of the Owyhee County Fair Board and a proud sponsor of many cattlemen’s sponsored steers at the Owyhee County Fair. He also belonged to the Idaho Cattle Association and Owyhee County Historical Society. He was inducted into the Idaho Cattlemen’s Hall of Fame in 1988 and was honored to be the Grand Marshall of the Bruneau Rodeo.
The family would like to thank the staff of The Cottages of Mountain Home, Shaw Mountain of Cascadia and Horizon Hospice Care, especially Cara and Corinne for their loving care.
Ray is survived by his daughter, Catherine (Chet) Sellman, son, Guy (Sherry) Colyer, grandchildren, Carla Sellman-Carley, Crista Sellman-Jones (Destry), Chad Sellman (Kelly), Kyle Colyer (Bobby-Jean) and Katie Colyer and eight great grandchildren, Emma Carley, Grayson Carley, Piper Colyer, Cruz Colyer, Dashen Jones, Addison Sellman, Lola Jones, Wyatt Sellman. Also, his sister, Cindy Plott of Eugene, OR, sister-in-laws, Leah Colyer of Spring Creek, NV. and Pauline Colyer of Grand View and nieces and nephews. Ray was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Bonnie Black Colyer, brothers, Troy, Cliff, Walt and Marvin Colyer, sister Lola Blossom and grandson Robert John Sellman.
Memorials in his name may be made to Bruneau Legion Post #83 c/o Bill McBride, P.O. Box 582, Bruneau, Idaho 83604, Bruneau Quick Response Unit, P.O. Box 294, Bruneau, Idaho 83604, Bruneau Boosters, P. O. Box 604, Bruneau, Idaho 83604.
A funeral service is scheduled for Tuesday, June 18, 2019 at 10 a.m. at Bruneau Legion Hall in Bruneau, Idaho. Graveside services following at Bruneau Cemetery. Arrangements are under the care of Rost Funeral Home, McMurtrey Chapel, in Mtn Home.