Date Created: 06/08/2017
Last Updated: 06/08/2017

In loving memory of Ray G. Harriman
3/24/1956 - 6/6/2017

Location: Cortez, Colorado

Visits: 10,041

This memorial was created in honor of Raymond "Ray" G Harriman of Cortez, Colorado. Ray was born on March 24th, 1956 and passed on June 6th, 2017. Raymond was loved by many and will be dearly missed by all his friends, family and students. He was a proud husband to Deborah Lux-Harriman and dad of Kyle Harriman. He grew up in Walsenburg, Colorado. He started teaching at Cortez Middle School in 2001 and transferred over to Montezuma-Cortez High School in 2003. Mr. Harriman coached multiple sports, he served on the Leadership Team for the faculty, and he was the voice of Panther Football at all our home games. Before working at the school he educated people from around the world with his works at Archaeology sites all over the Southwest. He had attended classes through Adams State College, Fort Lewis College, University of Colorado and San Juan College and in 2014 he earned his Master's Degree at the American College of Education. Ray loved to ski and bike in the Boggie Draw area of Dolores, CO. Usually, these trips were made with friends and Luna his Golden Doodle. Many people have used the words energetic and encouraging to describe him this week; but heard most often has been "father figure". If you wanted to see Ray smile all you had to do is ask "Hey Ray, How's Kyle doing?" M-CHS will miss you Mr. Harriman. You were one of our favorite Panthers!


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From: Debra Ramsey Friday, June 09, 2017
Public memorial for Ray Harriman planned for Panther Stadium

M-CHS teacher died June 6

By The Journal

Friday, June 9, 2017 12:18 PM

A celebration of life for Ray Harriman will take place at 6 p.m. Friday, June 16, at Panther Stadium at Cortez Middle School.

A celebration of life for Ray Harriman will take place Friday, June 16, at Panther Stadium at Cortez Middle School at 6 p.m.
The celebration of life service will be open to the public. A memorial page for Harriman has been set up at

Harriman, who was a social studies teacher and coach at M-CHS, likely suffered heart failure that led to a car crash near the intersection of Fourth Street and Merritt Way in Dolores about 5:15 p.m. Tuesday.

Harriman was 61 and had taught in the district for more than 20 years, according to Re-1 Superintendent Lori Haukeness.

“I know that personally Mr. Harriman taught me many lessons in my life starting when we worked together as coaches for the high school, and all the way up to his passing as a leader in the history department,” M-CHS Principal Jason Wayman said in an email sent to students, parents and community members on Thursday.

Harriman was born March 24, 1956 in Pueblo to Raymond and Geraldine (Zgut) Harriman, according to the Ertel Funeral Home. Among survivors are Harriman’s wife, Deborah Harriman, of Cortez, son Kyle Harriman of Denver and parents Raymond and Gerry Harriman, of Walsenburg. Also surviving are Harriman’s siblings, Joanna Payne (Carl) and Eric Harriman (Margo), of Pueblo West and David Harriman (Josie) of Walsenburg.

Harriman had spent the day riding his mountain bike with his dog at Boggy Draw north of Dolores before he died, according to Ertel. He spent 39 years in the Southwest and worked to understand the region’s culture. In addition to teaching, he spent time as a crew chief on the Dolores Archaeological Project.

Harriman was pronounced dead at Southwest Memorial on Tuesday evening. According to local officials and family, he likely suffered heart failure, which led to the crash. Montezuma County Sheriff Steve Nowlin said Wednesday that his office was waiting for an official cause of death from the county coroner.

He had taught in the district for more than 20 years, according to Haukeness.

“He was a great man and cared so much about this community,” said his son, Kyle Harriman.

Former students who shared memories and thoughts of their time with Harriman remembered him as an engaging, supportive and caring teacher.

“He saw us all the same and did his best to teach us how to really think,” All Orton said. “He taught us to open our eyes, look at things critically and to always question authority.”

Brittny Weir, who graduated from M-CHS in 2007, said he went the extra mile for students.

“Mr. Harriman taught with so much passion it would make students want to engage, and make us interested in what he was saying,” Weir said in an email.

Bob Archibeque, who coached football and basketball at Cortez Middle School and M-CHS with Harriman, said he loved life and made others happy.

“Every day I got to know Ray, he made everyone’s life around him better,” Archibeque said. “He brought joy to so many kids and people.”

The celebration of life service will be open to the public. A memorial page for Harriman has been set up at

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