Skip to main content

Our esteemed and beloved longtime Board President, John Lay, passed away April 6, 2023. After a four-year battle with ALS, Mr. Lay passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family.

Each year since 2001, the Colorado River Alliance Board has honored an individual, couple, group, business, or organization for contributions to the preservation and protection of the Texas Colorado River. Honorees have included Central Texas business leaders, corporations, environmentalists, elected officials, and artists. In 2019, to honor Mr. Lay’s impact on our organization and his love of the Colorado River, the Alliance renamed the annual award the John Lay River Hero Award.

As an elementary student in the Austin area, Mr. Lay took a field trip to see the Colorado River and one of the dams on mighty river. His eyes would light up and a broad smile spread from cheek to cheek as he described this experience. Mr. Lay’s decades of leadership on the Colorado River Alliance Board ensured that thousands of school children had an opportunity to be inspired and excited by the Colorado River.

We invite you to read more about Mr. Lay’s incredible life and services to honor his passing here. We send our love to John’s family during this time of loss, especially his youngest daughter Sally Allen, who has followed in her father’s footsteps and currently serves on our board of directors.

If you would like to carry forward Mr. Lay’s legacy of inspiring future River Heroes by contributing to the Alliance’s mission, click here.

Watch John’s legacy captured via video.