Fellow York County native Dick Geiger alerts me to the loss of a Track Alum some time ago. Ray Smith was a team captain (along with Al Sheaffer) on the very first team Coach Groves had in Happy Valley. Dick says "Ray was a crazy, but very likable person. I'll remember him for his lighthearted demeanor--always joking". Greg Fredericks was a (skinny) Freshman* on that team back in 1968. Ray was one of the top runners. He will be missed by all of us. I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to meet him as I have so many others.
* I threw that (skinny) part in just to tweak my favorite of all Nittany Lions. I was once skinnier than he. Believe it OR NOT!SMITH, Raymond E.
Raymond E. Smith, 64, a long-time resident of Glastonbury, and recently West Hartford, passed away on July 4, 2012, in Brooksville, FL, with his wife, Sharon Scully Smith, at his side. He was born in Binghamton, NY, on August 18, 1947 to Lester and Nellie Smith. Ray was a great athlete. A former New York state mile record holder and distance runner at Penn State, Ray was one of several elite athletes chosen for a national study of how high altitude affects runners prior to the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.Ray loved the Florida Keys and was an avid fisherman, scuba diver, and cycling enthusiast. He was an IT consultant at CIGNA for many years and a former Exalted Ruler of Hartford Elks Lodge #19. He enjoyed working with the lodge to sponsor little league and hoops tournaments, fishing derbies and scholarships, and bringing Christmas presents to the Levitow Health Center in Rocky Hill.Ray's favorite event was the Special Olympics, where he loved cheering on the athletes. Along with his wife, Ray is survived by his son, Scott Smith of Manchester, stepchildren Jeremy Garfield of New Jersey, and Brianna and Dylan Meredith of West Hartford; brothers, Edwin Smith and wife, Jean, of Endicott, NY, and Lance Smith, and wife Carmen, of Lisle, NY, and sisters Amy Lacey and husband, Dan, of Port Crane, NY, Kathy House of Brooksville, FL, and Maureen Riter, and husband Dave, of Monument, CO. He was predeceased by his parents and brother-in-law Cliff House.
A memorial service celebrating Ray's life will be held July 21, 2012, at 11 a.m. at the Church of St. Timothy, 1116 North Main St., West Hartford, followed by a luncheon at 12:30 p.m. at the Elks Lodge, 34 Prospect St., Hartford. Babies and children are welcome. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Special Olympics Connecticut, 2666 State St., Suite 1, Hamden CT 06517.