SAGUACHE — Saguache County Rancher, Johnny Lee Werner passed away at Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs, CO on May 19, 2020. Mr. Werner was born February 24, 1950, in Monte Vista, CO, to John Frances and Lucille ¨Rickie¨ Hibbard Werner. He was buried next to his parents at Hillside Cemetery in Saguache.
John graduated from Saguache High School in 1968 and from Adams State College in 1972, with a Bachelor´s Degree in Anthropology and Sociology. John believed in serving his community and was highly active in both the Moffat and Saguache communities. John was President of the Saguache Creek Water Users Association, he served on the Northern Saguache Fire Department from 1982- 1994, a Saguache County Planning Commission member for 12 years.
He was a Member of the San Luis Valley Cattlemen´s and Colorado Cattlemen´s Association, BLM Grazing Board. He was a huge supporter of the Saguache County Museum. John was a strong advocate for local and valley water and the importance to educate others on water issues. He also operated his custom hay business and put up hay throughout the valley and in the Cochetopa Pass area hiring local youth. Cy Perkins was a family friend, neighbor and rancher that was a big part of John´s life. In later years John purchased the Perkins Ranch from Cy.
John always looked forward to Werner family reunions and sharing family history. He enjoyed hosting Superbowl parties and making his famous chili. In his youth, John enjoyed hang gliding, motorcycles, fishing, ice skating and riding his horse in the Saguache County Museum Grand opening. John loved kids and helped many of the local kids in high school and higher education. His door was always open to anyone who needed a place to stay or just a friend.
Mr. Werner is survived by his son, Coleman Ray Werner of Red Feather Lakes. He was preceded by his parents; grandparents, Bechtold and Viola Gilder Werner; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, and close friends.
Due to the pandemic, a memorial service will be scheduled for a later date. Charitable contributions may be made in John´s name to the Northern Saguache Volunteer Fire Department or the Saguache County Museum. Arrangements in care of Strohmayer´s Funeral Home.