Raymond E. Smith, age 84 of Cozad, passed away Thursday June 28, 2012 at the Golden Living Care Center in Cozad.
Ray was born June 18, 1928 at Oconto, Nebraska to James and Rose (Clark) Smith. He graduated from Cozad High School in 1946.
On December 7, 1949, Ray married his long-time schoolmate, neighbor and love of his life, Donna Jordan at Lexington. The couple made their home in Cozad together briefly, and in 1950, Ray was inducted into the U.S. Army. He returned to Donna following his discharge in 1952, and the couple resided together in Cozad. Their union was blessed with 3 children, Doug, Dan and Cheryl. Ray worked at the Nebraska Farm Products Alfalfa Mill for over 20 years, before taking a job as a mechanic at the Hansen & Waters Implement. Ray would come to serve as a janitor at the Cozad High School, and later the grade school, retiring in the mid 1980’s.
Ray was a longtime, faithful member of the Parkview Methodist Church in Cozad. He was also a longtime member of the Cozad Elks Lodge #2250.
Ray was very generous with his time, from orchestrating fish fries for Parkview Methodist Church, to serving as Scoutmaster of the Boy Scout Troop he chartered, to volunteering his time at the Grand Generation Center. Ray always had a special place in his heart for children. Throughout his life, it was always important to Ray to make special efforts to encourage and cultivate growth in the youth around him. Under his tutelage as a Scoutmaster, nine young men were able to attain their Eagle Scout designations, which was something he was always very proud of. Ray was also known to fix bikes for many of the kids in the area. Even as a janitor, Ray enjoyed interacting with the kids that roamed the halls.
In his spare time, Ray would enjoy crafting wreaths, clocks and other various things from pheasant feathers. He was also an avid camper and fisherman. Ray always cooked what he caught, and his children and grandchildren would become the beneficiaries of his many fishing stories, lessons and the occasional fish fry or two. Ray would sometimes make reference to the elusive “Waldo” in many of his fishing stories, as he was the fish that always managed to get away.
Memorials are suggested to the Parkview Methodist Church in Cozad, Boy Scout Troop 189 or the Cozad Afterzone Program in his memory. Condolences may be shared at berrymanfuneralhome.com.
Ray was preceded in death by his wife, Donna in May of 2012; his parents; 2 brothers, James “Don”, Marvin Dean; and a sister, Naomi Hartman.
Survivors include his 2 sons, Doug (Carolyn) Smith of Cozad, Dan (Kaleigh) Smith of Grand Island; daughter, Cheryl (Bert) Keller of Eustis; 8 grandchildren; 11 great grandchildren; and many other relatives and friends.
Services were held on Monday, July 2, 2012 at 10:30 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Cozad with Pastors Doug Smith & Jim Johnson officiating. Burial with military honors was held in the Cozad Cemetery.