Raymond Patterson Fosdick, Jr., 81 years old of Dove Creek, CO, passed away peacefully on Friday, November 3rd, 2017 surrounded by his wife and three children. Ray, respectfully known as “Sir” to most of the Dove Creek community, liked to drink beer, put his hands in his pockets, stamp his foot, laugh and tell stories. He was a man of character, honesty, and integrity. His kids always thought that some of his phrases should always be remembered like “What do you think this is, a spectator sport?” Or “Do a job right the first time, don’t do a half-baked job.” Our dad was one of kind, had a unique way with words, and thus this obituary also cannot be typical. Instead, it has to highlight the man that had the most influence on so many including his children, grandchildren, and students.
Ray was born in the small town of Blanca, CO to Viola Marie Skinkle and Raymond Patterson Fosdick, Sr. in 1936. He went to high school in Fowler, CO and was able to form close connections with his Fosdick cousins, Sam, Tony, Clara, Emily, Grant, Martha, Ruth, and Louise Fosdick (could be more) and viewed them as siblings. He attended Colorado State University and met lifelong friend and hunting buddy Fred Osborne. Fred somehow introduced Ray to his sister and he immediately became infatuated with his soon-to -be bride, partner in crime, and love of his life, Carolyn Jean Osborne.
CSU is also where Ray received his credentials for the second love of his life: teaching Vocational Agriculture. Beginning in 1963, “Sir” taught Vo-Ag for 28 years in Dove Creek and through the years formed so many relationships that they cannot really be counted. Every student has at least one memory that will bring a smile to their face about a fishing trip, a stock show trip, a bus ride, delivering fruit, rebuilding engines, hunting and skinning game, countless hours of “shop” time, drinking beer without Sir knowing, FFA conventions in the Spring, and the FFA pit.
While the FFA and teaching were a huge part of Ray’s life, he also had many other experiences and adventures. Ray and Carol built their house and dreams in Dove Creek and ran a small family farm with cattle and hogs. Ray gave four years in the army, was an avid hunter, a true patriot, a lifetime NRA member, and believer in the second amendment. He loved his guns, and he loved his hunting escapades throughout the years with Carol, Dave, Carol Marie, Rob, Billy Ray, Mace, and Raymos. Lake Powell was his go-to for summer family vacations, but he also enjoyed numerous other travels across the United States with Carol and up until they graduated, his children. He owned many beloved animals including his bird dog Baron, horse Rebel, and mule Buggs. He was a respected and loved uncle and enjoyed time with Nathan, Bill, and Shanna. Above all, there was never a dull moment in Ray’s life. He chose to live life to its fullest, his way.
Ray was preceded in death by his sister Nina Lou Fosdick and his parents Raymond and Viola. He is survived by his wife, children, and grandchildren: His loving and loyal wife of almost 55 years, Carol Fosdick. His oldest, who very much like him, has a world of common sense and who is driven to get the job done right the first time, Carol Marie Howell. His son and daughter-in-law who he shared the love of competition, coaching, and the Broncos with, Dave and Holly Fosdick. And his youngest blonde daughter who he shared many of his stubborn traits with, April Castillo. He is also survived by his favorite son-in-laws who shared his love of hunting, shooting, reloading, and the outdoors, Rob Howell and Mace Castillo. His grandkids always gave him joy and he could honestly say he did something right when he looked at them. Rob and Carol Marie’s kids, living so close to him, will always hold special memories of their “Nampa”. Billy Ray was his “sidekick” and best friend and was deeply influenced by his Grandpa’s character and followed his advice that hard work truly does pay off. Shilo was his “honeybird” that could always bring a smile to his face and she exhibits her Grandpa’s strong will, voice of reason, and clear thinking . Shilo also recently introduced dad to the new addition to the family, Shilo’s other half, Michael Messier who dad said is “just alright” (and if anyone knows dad, this is a compliment). Dave and Holly’s girls all have some genuine “Ray” qualities: Nata is a fierce competitor who truly plays for the love of the game, Katie is always willing to help someone out and believes in true kindness, and Syd always “tells it like it is” even if the other person may not be ready to hear it. Mace and April’s kids hold some special traits as well. Raymos inherited his Grandpa’s intrinsic love of learning and the enjoyment of hiking and the outdoors, and Anaya has her Grandpa’s tenacity and will to only do things on her own terms. Dad’s example and influence will never go unnoticed or be forgotten.
There will be a viewing at Ertel’s Funeral Home in Cortez, CO from 5-7pm on Friday, November 10th. Everyone is welcome. Ray’s service will be held at Memorial Hall in Dove Creek on Saturday, November 11th at 10am. Immediately following will be the graveside service at the Dove Creek Cemetery. Dinner will be served at the Community Center after the graveside service. In lieu of flower, we please ask that memorials be made in Ray’s name to Hospice of Montezuma P.O. Box 740 Cortez, CO 81321.