Gary Francis Murphy, former pressman for Rocky Mountain News, The Denver Post & Denver Catholic Register
Gary Francis Murphy – who worked as a pressman for both the Rocky Mountain News and The Denver Post, as well as the Denver Catholic Register – died July 17, 2017. He was born in Chester, Iowa, on Feb. 10, 1933, and raised in Denver.
A religious man, Murphy traveled extensively in Europe, visiting Catholic sites such as the Vatican and the shrine of St. Anthony of Padua. He was always “the life of the party, superb at entertaining friends, and a magician who was also an expert at card tricks,” read his official obituary.
He was preceded in death three years ago by his first wife Janet, mother of his daughter Mindy, and two months ago by his second wife, Peggy Corey. He is survived by his daughter, Melinda (Mindy) Holder, granddaughter Kiffney, and great-grandchildren Zevian and Deliah; foster son Axel Treutler; and a niece, Pamela Lee, and her children and grandchildren, Suzie, Spencer, Steven and Simon.
A funeral Mass took place on Aug. 11 at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Denver, followed by inurnment at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Wheat Ridge.
Ray D. Sanders, 52-year veteran with Lamar Daily News
Ray D. Sanders, 81 – a veteran newspaperman who was a recipient of the Golden Makeup Rule award from Colorado Press Association – died July 10, 2017, at his son’s home in Lamar with his family by his side. He was born in Lamar on Sept. 17, 1935, to Burton Roscoe Sanders and Letha Noe-Sanders. In addition to family, he leaves behind “his many friends, including his Lamar Daily News family that he had worked with over his 52-year career at the newspaper,” read his official obituary.
In an article special to The Lamar Ledger, Tom Betz, former editor and publisher for the Daily News, wrote: “When I was young, Ray was working around the press and hot lead linotype machines at the paper. Once in a while I sort of got in the way, and Ray was nice about telling me to move – after all, I was the boss’ snot-nosed kid.”
Betz also related these milestones in Sanders’ career in Lamar: He was instrumental in cleanup after the June 1965 Arkansas River/Willow Creek flood through a large portion of town, including the newspaper building; worked through the transition from hot type to a new web offset press; was in charge of back shop production in the 1980s, and even learned screen printing for bus decals when the News invested in a sign-cutting machine.
At the end of that decade, the Betz family sold the newspaper to American Publishing. As publisher, Betz relied on Sanders to make the transition a smooth one, including two press changes and rearranging the press area of the back shop. When The Denver Post purchased the newspaper in 1995, Sanders stayed on for more changes and continued to manage production. Several years before Sanders retired, the newspaper was instrumental in his receiving a Golden Makeup Rule award from Colorado Press Association for his 50 years of service at Lamar.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Darla (May 9, 2001); two brothers, Leon and Roscoe; and three sisters, Dorothy, Kathleen and Doris. He is survived by his children, LaDon (Micah) Page, of Greeley, Christie (Dannie) McMillan, of Cheyenne Wells, and TJ (Karen) Sanders, of Lamar; eight grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. A celebration of his life took place July 15 at Peacock Family Chapel in Lamar, with interment at Fairmount Cemetery in Denver. Memorial contributions may be made to Lamar Area Hospice.
John Tracy, longtime Golden Transcript newspaperman
John Tracy, 73 – who worked for three decades with the Golden Transcript – died Aug. 1, 2017, after hospitalization for a variety of health problems. His death prompted Transcript Editor Glenn Wallace to note in an article by Christy Steadman: “John was unfailingly kind, hardworking and helpful. He was a guiding light to folks like myself that had joined the family in the last few years. Our entire staff is heartbroken.”
He began his 30-year stint at the Golden Transcript when he took the post of marketing director in 1987. Over the years, he also held the posts of general manager, associate publisher and manager of special projects – “the last of which he held to the present day,” wrote Steadman. She also noted that former Golden City Manager Mike Bestor said Tracy, “seemed to know everybody and attend every community event.”
Tracy received many awards from community organizations, including the Rotary Club of Golden and Golden Chamber of Commerce, and was named a Living Landmark by the Golden Landmarks Association. He and his wife Jane were grand marshals of the Buffalo Bills Day 2015 Best of the West Parade. In 2016, he helped accept a Living Landmark award on behalf of the Transcript on the 150th anniversary of the newspaper’s founding.
When not working in and for the community, he enjoyed gardening, hiking and traveling with his wife.
A memorial service, to which the community was invited, took place Aug. 16 at the Green Center on the Colorado School of Mines campus in Golden. Memorial contributions were directed to the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative, “a Golden-based nonprofit that protects and preserves the natural integrity of Colorado’s 54 14,000-foot peaks through active stewardship and public education.”
Randy Mack Wren, longtime member of Denver Advertising Foundation, Denver Press Club
Denver native and resident Randy Mack Wren, 66, well-known and friend to many in the journalism, advertising and business communities in Denver, died July 10, 2017, of a heart attack. He was born June 11, 1951, to John E. Wren and Martha Jane (Edwards) Wren. Growing up in southeast Denver, he attended University Park Elementary School, Denver Country Day School and Cherry Creek High School. He went on to Chapman College in Orange, Calif., participating in World Campus Afloat, which fostered his love of travel. He had recently traveled to China and was planning on visiting Russia.
Over his long and varied career, he worked for Frontier Bank, Manna Foods and a wholesale business he helped launch. He went to New York City, studying with Lee Strasberg and appearing in off-Broadway productions as well as TV and magazine ads. Wren returned to Denver to help his mother after his father was diagnosed with cancer.
Wren also worked in a number of restaurants, was a tour guide in Denver, and had his own cable TV show. He was a longtime member of the Denver Advertising Federation, the Denver Press Club, the Denver Dinosaurs, the Colorado Symphony Guild and St. Andrews Episcopal Church. He supported many causes and performed many hours of volunteer work.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a sister-in-law, niece and nephew; and his friend, Fred Baldus. Survivors include two brothers, Jay Wren, of Castle Rock, and John Wren, of Denver; four nieces, a nephew and many cousins.
A memorial service and reception took place July 20 at St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Denver, followed by a graveside ceremony at Crown Hill Cemetery in Wheat Ridge. Memorial contributions may be made to the Colorado Symphony, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts or Central City Opera.