d. June 22, 2018
Ed Sly, 79, former resident of Ouray passed away June 22 at Saint Mary’s Hospice in Grand Junction. Ed is survived by his wife Shirley (Risch), a Ouray native, and daughters Wendy Sly, and Audrey Sly, both of Montrose, and Michelle Gallagher of Los Angeles. Ed was also proud of five grandsons; A. J. Satur, Jessie Bishop, Aaron Mills, and Kanan Mills (recently deceased) of Montrose and Robbie Bishop of Los Angeles. Equally loved were granddaughter Andrea Nunez and four great grandchildren; Jensyn and Liliana Satur of Montrose and Aumi and Aidan Nunez, currently living in Japan.
Ed and his family had a long and interesting history in Ouray that began with his great-great uncle John Raab who became a major property owner in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. Beginning in 1890 Raab began purchasing properties north of 9th Avenue, in what was originally part of the community’s red light district. By 1920 he had acquired 14 properties, two of which were log cabins and all of which were among the earliest structures built in Ouray.
By the 1920s and 30s the reputation of the neighborhood had changed from its notorious past and Raab was making a living renting some of his properties to visitors for one, two and sometimes even three dollars a night. In 1941 an aging Raab passed his extensive property holdings to Ed’s grandparents, Louis and Ethyl Sly, and the neighborhood became popularly known as Slytown.
In the early 1960s the properties passed on to Ed’s father and eventually to Ed who found himself responsible for numerous decrepit buildings, mostly frame construction, built in the 19th Century and definitely at the end of their useful lives. Over a period of years in the 1960s Ed demolished most of these buildings after carefully documenting their history. Interestingly, the two log cabins still survive, one as a donation to the Historical Society at the Museum and a second at 220 9th Avenue.
Ed and Shirley, who were married in 1965, lived in that cabin with their young girls for several years before moving, first to Detroit, and later to the Denver area. For the past 20 years Ed and Shirley made their home in Montrose, making frequent visits to the old hometown.
Condolences can be addressed to Shirley Sly at 1953 Bordeaux, Montrose, CO 81401.