George Ray Smith
Benton, AR - Memorial services for George Ray Smith, 89, of Benton, Arkansas will be held Friday, July 3, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. at Geyer Springs First Baptist Church, Little Rock, Arkansas with Pastor Dave Hughey officiating.
Cremation is under the direction of Ashby Funeral Home.
Mr. Smith was born January 14, 1931 in Norman, Oklahoma to the late Blanche Montana (Ramey) and Olis George Smith and died Sunday, June 28, 2020 at a local hospice care center.
As a small child Ray lived in the Texas panhandle, Oklahoma and Kansas as his father followed work in the oilfield. He started first grade in Norman. Later the family moved to Electra and then on to an oil field camp west of Odessa. While there Ray accepted Jesus as his Savior. At the start of his tenth grade year his family moved to an oilfield camp near Kamay, and he attended Valley View High School. While in school he played football and was president of his senior class. Ray started college at Midwestern as a freshman and transferred to the University of Oklahoma the next year. He graduated in January of 1953 with a degree in Geological Engineering. In March of 1953 he was drafted into the army, serving as an MP at Fort Hood and later in Japan during the Korean War. In the fall of 1955 he returned to OU and earned a second degree in Petroleum Engineering. In June of 1956 he went to work for Sunray Oil Company in Odessa. While there he met Sandra Roberts, and they married on December 30, 1957.
In July of 1958 he went to work for Gray Ridge Oil Company, and he and Sandra moved to Kamay. All three of his children were born while there. In June of 1964 he went to work as the Petroleum Engineer for C.B. Christie, Jr., and the family moved to Wichita Falls. He worked for over 50 years for C.B. Christie. He was a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, as well as a member of the Texas Professional Engineers.
He joined First Baptist Church in August of 1964. He was ordained as a deacon in 1965 and served two terms as chairman of deacons. He was actively involved in a number of church committees, as a children's worker and as Training Union director.
He served 17 years on the Wichita Falls Area Food Bank board, including 2 years as president and also chairman of one building expansion. He was active many years in the University Kiwanis Club. He was an avid woodworker, having built several large items that the Junior League and other organizations used as fund raisers.
He and Sandra traveled extensively, including in the early years to Yellowstone, Florida, California, the Smokey Mountains, and Big Bend and later to China, France, Canada, Europe, Novia Scotia, the Baltic, Finland, Norway, Alaska, and the northeast. He enjoyed working in the yard, entertaining in his Gazebo, going to the lake, snow skiing trips and mostly spending time with family.
In 2016 he moved to the Little Rock area to be near his daughter, and for the last year he has been a resident at the Manor in Benton. He was a member of Geyer Springs First Baptist Church.
Survivors include his wife, Sandra Smith of Benton, AR, son and daughter-in-law, David and Loren Smith of Addison, Texas, daughter and son-in-law, Louanne and Dave Hughey of Alexander, AR, son and daughter-in-law, Darryl and Amy Smith of Huntington, Texas, 18 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by two sisters-in-law, Louise Whitmire and her husband, Alan, of Wichita Falls, Texas and Joann Childers of Kingsport, TN, as well as many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two sisters, Wanda Smith and June Wells; brother, Allen Smith; and daughter-in-law, Karen Smith.
Published in Times Record News from Jun. 29 to Jul. 2, 2020.