It is not often that I go out of town to do a funeral.
This month I have the privilege to do a memorial ser-
vice for both Col. Ray Smith and Roah at Arlington
Cemetery, Washington, DC. We talked of this with
Ray before he died. He always wanted to be buried
there, so he and Roah had been cremated when they
died and their four daughters have arranged this very
sacred ceremony for their parents. Col. Ray was a
lifer in the Army. He was a soldier of many years and
many experiences. He wrote of his career in the Army
in a book found in our library. He fought in WWII
going ashore at Normandy two weeks after D-Day and
fighting through the European theatre with General
George Patton’s outfit.
Ray was a veteran of the Korean Conflict and also
served in Vietnam leading many men and not losing
one, of which he was very proud. Col. Ray served in
the Army’s Command College and in the nuclear pro-
gram for the United States of America.
All this time Roah was a faithful Army wife raising
four girls alone, most of the time. She was the perfect
wife and perfect Army wife, Ray would say. When
you spent time with Roah she express her great pride
in Ray and his work for our country and how much
she enjoyed being a part of the Army all those years.
After Ray retired and they settled here in Anderson
they eventually became a part of our church family.
Ray and Roah were very active in Sunday School and
other activities of the church.
Slowly, Ray noticed and finally everyone else did too, that Roah was suffering
from dementia. Her disease finally took them away to live in Greenville where
there was care for Roah’s condition, even as it would progress sending her into
the nursing unit.
What a very sweet couple and one which I appreciated so much for their great
sacrifice they paid for our country’s freedom from the very beginning of their
marriage until their deaths. Roah was a gentle lady and Ray was a patriot to the
very end, who loved freedom, which he fought for and loved the country which
he almost died for many times, as he told his friends.
What a joy their daughters have given me. Pray for me as I go to lay them to
their final rest on this side of heaven, my brother and sister in Christ and my
friends, Col. Ray and Roah Smith.