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Raymond "Ray" Lester Smith
April 5, 1930 ~ January 1, 2024 (age 93) 93 Years Old
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Raymond “Ray” Lester Smith, 93, passed away peacefully on January 1, 2024, in his home surrounded by his family. Ray had been in declining health for the past month.
Ray was born on April 5, 1930 to Clarence and Elvira Smith in Wyandotte, Michigan. He graduated from Sylvania High School in Sylvania, Ohio. Ray married Willow May Lloyd on August 5, 1950 in Toledo, Ohio. The happy couple made their home in Ottawa Lake, Michigan. They had six children, Sandra (Charles) Nadeau of Ida, Michigan, David “Harry” Smith, Debra (Lonnie) Creque of Riga, Michigan, Fred Smith of Ottawa Lake, Michigan, Ruth Ann Smith of St. Augustine, Florida, and Raymond (Jeanette) Smith of Ottawa Lake, Michigan.
Ray liked to work with his hands and had a mechanical aptitude. He was honored to serve his country by making jeeps for the U.S. Army at the Toledo Jeep plant. Most of his working years were spent in road construction working for large companies like Macomb and Halloway. He was proficient at operating many pieces of heavy equipment. In 1978 he became the first person in Michigan to be certified in the operation of a CMI machine, which used new laser technology in the creation of roadways. Ray was a proud member of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 324 for over 65 years.
Most at home in the outdoors, Ray was an avid hunter and successfully harvested many deer from the Smith family property in Iron River, Michigan. He planted a large garden and orchard, which were always bountiful. Ray produced exceptional fruits and vegetables, and took great joy in sharing his harvest with family and friends. A very skilled craftsman, there was nothing Ray could not build or fix and he was happiest working in his shop. Some of his favorite pastimes included morel mushroom hunting, fishing and baling hay and straw. Ray took great pride in his yard and always insisted on mowing it himself, even at 93. By far, Ray and May derived the most joy from hosting large family gatherings for holidays and special occasions at their home. They viewed their family as their greatest achievement.
Ray was preceded in death by his beloved wife May on February 11, 2019 and his son David “Harry” on March 17, 2013. He is survived by his daughters Sandra, Debra, and Ruth Ann, as well as his sons Fred and Raymond. Ray was blessed to have and be survived by 17 grandchildren, 40 great grandchildren, 3 great-great grandchildren and Silver, a Vizsla sporting dog and his faithful companion.
Visitation will be will at Reeb Funeral Home, Sylvania Ohio, on Friday January 5th from 4pm to 8pm and on Saturday January 6th from 9am to 10am. Services will be held at Reeb Funeral Home on Saturday January 6that 10am. Afterward, Ray will be laid to rest alongside his beloved wife May at the Riga cemetery.
Virtual Obituary only: Immediately following, a celebration of Ray’s life will continue at the Ottawa Lake Sportsman Club. Online condolences to reebfuneralhome.com