For years, John Slay's passion for archeology led to the continued discovery and preservation of cultures with his friend James (Jim) Benedict by his side. By giving a gift in memory of John Slay to the James and Audrey Benedict Endowment for Mountain Archaeology, John's passion for education and spirit for preserving the past will continue through the training of future archeologists at Colorado State University.
Once describing himself as a "life-long learner", John had an illustrious and varied career both as a musician in the military and then as an archeologist and anthropologist in the U.S. Forest Service. He spent years studying the Native American cultures both on the plains and in the Rocky Mountain regions of Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, South Dakota and the canyons of Utah. Additionally he spent a period of time in the Ozark National Forest in Arkansas. His love of archeology lead him to work on sites throughout Colorado, specifically in Mesa Verde, Chaco Canyon, Chimney Rock, 10 Mile Canyon and even the Hamill House in Georgetown. He had a special fondness for the Pawnee National Grasslands outside of Ft. Collins and for the Rawah and Indian Peaks Wilderness areas.
Along with his old friend and colleague Jim Benedict, they studied the high altitude game drives specifically on Sawtooth Mountain. Later, John began to develop a specialty for Rock Art and spent countless hours of study in the canyon lands of Utah. He died with a smile on his face, in a canyon he loved; doing the archeology he loved to do.