Raymond B. Smith Jr

Raymond B. Smith Jr., 64 of Leavenworth, passed away Sunday, June 12, 2011, at his home.

He was born Feb. 19, 1947, in Erie, Pa., and grew up in Buffalo, N.Y. He joined the Navy at 17 years old on June 29, 1964, serving two tours in Vietnam. He was discharged Feb. 10, 1967. Ray moved to Leavenworth in 1982 and work at the Leavenworth VA as the “Bug Man” exterminator until his retirement in 2000. He was a lifetime member of the VFW. For several years he played Santa Claus at the VFW for all children including the children of deployed service men and women. He loved seeing how excited the children would get and the smiles on their faces.

He is survived by his wife, Sharon Smith of the home; two daughters, Stacy Spaeth of Hamburg, N.Y. and Christina Smith of Buffalo, N.Y.; a step-son, Christopher Dykes of Leavenworth; and three very special and much loved grandchildren, Ashley and Michael Smith and Alex Spaeth.

Ray was preceded in death by his father, Raymond Smith Sr., his mother, Maxine Smith, and a brother, Vincent Smith.

A memorial service will be at 10 a.m. Friday, June 24, 2011, at the R.L. Leintz Funeral Home with Chaplain Gary Sanford presiding. Inurnment with Navy honors will follow at 11 a.m. at Leavenworth National Cemetery. Following the services there will be a celebration of Ray’s life at the VFW Post 56, 519 Cherokee St. In lieu of flowers please make donations to the family in Ray’s honor.