Vail Daily obituary: Raymond Emil Brenner, 1930-2015

Raymond Emil Brenner passed over the weekend in Hobe Sound, Florida, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Ray served as a squadron commander in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War while stationed in Japan. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a business degree. (Go Badgers!)

Ray moved his family from Milwaukee to Vail in 1973 to pursue a career as a mortgage banker. He started First Western Mortgage and helped thousands of people in the Vail Valley obtain homeownership. As a Vail pioneer, Ray was a patron at Purcell’s and the Ore House on Bridge Street and enjoyed the close social atmosphere of early Vail. A regular on Vail Mountain, Ray later enjoyed skiing at Arrowhead and eating Blinky’s Burgers at the base with martinis. In the late 1980s, Ray sold First Western Mortgage to his son Jimmy; Jimmy’s wife, Marka; and their partner Mike Davis. The company still exists today under the name Blue Sky Mortgage. He is known as “Heyray” by his grandsons Stefan, Elliott and Wolfgang.

A small service will be held at Vail Memorial Park, with the date and time to be determined.

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