Ray D. Smith, age 85, son of Edgar B. and Verdie T. (Parmenter) Smith, was born January 27, 1926 in Texas County, Missouri. He passed away February 3, 2011 at Houston House Nursing Home, Houston, Missouri.
Ray is preceded in death by his parents; two nephews, David Beasley and Dick Burch; and an infant baby Burch.
He is survived by his wife, Ruby Mae of Solo, Missouri; one brother, Earl Lee Smith and wife Maggie of Houston; three sisters, Edna Roberts of Solo, Dessie Beasley and husband Bill of Houston, and Fern Burch and husband Vernon of Kansas City; also several nieces and nephews and two brothers-in-law and one sister-in-law who loved him dearly.
Ray grew up in the Houston area and attended Indian Creek grade school. He married Ruby M. McKinney on April 25, 1950. They had no children but were blessed to have 21 nieces and nephews they enjoyed spending time with on the farm.
At an early age, Ray began helping his parents with their milk route and later purchased the route and continued hauling milk until he retired in 1990. People were amazed to see someone so small pick up two cans of milk, carry them a distance and then toss them up in the truck, while larger people had to struggle with one. Nieces and nephews also enjoyed riding along to keep him company on the milk route.
Ray became a Christian in his teens and was a member of New Hope Baptist Church until he moved his membership to Ozark Baptist Church to attend with Ruby. His seven-days-a-week milk route and milking chores prevented him from attending every service, but he continued to love the Lord and his church family.
Ray enjoyed his milk cows, and later switched to beef cows. Ray and Ruby moved to their farm when married in 1950 and continued to live there until the present time with the exception of the time he spent in the nursing home from July 2010 until his death.
Ray appreciated the blessings from God and was a happy person, most often with a big smile for whomever he met.
Services were Tuesday, February 8, 2011, at 11:00 a.m. in Ozark Baptist Church. Rev. Kenneth Gibson, Rev. Kendall Ford and Rev. John Wisdom officiated. Burial was in Ozark Cemetery under the direction of Evans Funeral Home. Pallbearers were Rick Crebo, Randy Crebo, Danny Crebo, Mike Beasley, Scott McKinney, Brent McKinney and James (Shorty) Ed Smith.
Memorials may be made to Ozark Cemetery. On line condolences may be sent to www.evansfh.com.