Activist Ray Koernig gave 50 years to city

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Friends and family gathered at Hudson Gardens on March 3 to celebrate the extraordinary life of one of their own. Ray Koernig, who died at Denver Hospice on Feb. 25 at age 80, has been a Littleton activist since his first term on city council in 1971.

Since then, he has been involved constantly in the city’s political and cultural life, volunteering hours and hours of his time and expertise: two terms on council and service with the Planning Commission, Liquor Authority, Littleton Museum, Town and Gown, Littleton Rotary, Hudson Gardens, Town Hall Arts Center, South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce, Littleton Building Authority, Arapahoe Community College, Friends of the Library/Museum.

On March 20, 2012, just before his 80th birthday, the city council managed to surprise him with a declaration of “Ray Koernig Day, March 27” in front of many friends secretly invited by his wife, Mary Allman Koernig.

His ongoing love of history led him in assorted directions — in travel and in his hometown. He played the role of famous/infamous Alfred Packer in a mock trial at Town Hall and again most recently during Historic Littleton Inc.’s September 2012 Scavenger Hunt.

His participation in many of the Friends of the Library/Museum’s Fiasco spoofs included making fun of past and current history of his hometown. He wrote and performed in many of the 25 annual events.

He also planned trips for the Friends’ “Old Forts” group of fellow history buffs — to see historic forts and other sites in Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico. Sometimes he appeared in costume for these excursions, and could lecture knowledgably about the places being visited.

His fondness for the museum led to a connection with his wife, Mary, who was its director for a time.

A note from Littleton Rotary called him a “Renaissance man” and told of his involvement with Rotary exchange students, whom he hosted, and of his willingness to tutor community children who needed a boost. He worked with the Rotary Scholarship program at Arapahoe Community College and the club’s high school debate program.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Helen, and daughter Katharine. He is survived by his wife, Mary, sons Kevin (Kim) and Wilton (Kristi) and grandchildren Kaylee, Joseph and Mia.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to the Ray Koernig Memorial Fund at Hudson Gardens, 6115 S. Santa Fe Drive, Littleton, CO 80120.

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