Lighting up the darkness.
I was surprised when Ray dropped “Rocket” from his name — it had always described him so well. Ray was a roomful of fireworks. Ray could light up a hall and — from word one — hold any audience in the palm of his hand. Ray was an exceptional colleague. A dear and trusted friend.
Most of all, Ray was ready. Any time. For any thing. Small case in point: whenever I needed to moderate or organize a seminar, my first call was always to Ray. And he never turned me down. Not even those times when — for no fee — he’d have to ride the 150 miles to Phoenix, talk sometimes for an hour or less, then ride back to his Rockingham Ranch in Roll.
But that was Ray, always. Decent. Funny. Generous. An irresistible force.
... and here I am, writing “Ray was .......”
When more than anything, I wish I could write “Ray is .....”
But from now on, when the Arizona monsoons rumble in at night and lightning sparks between the clouds, I’ll think, That’s Ray. Up there. Doing what he always did: giving a great show. Lighting up the darkness.
John Graham Seeliger
Do you have a favorite Ray Jutkins story?
If so, please send it along to and I'll make it part of this website.
With fond memories of Ray and with deep respect for his family.