School 09

Ray Bost Smith

July 5, 1925 ~ January 26, 2024 (age 98) 98 Years Old

Ray Smith Obituary

Ray Bost Smith passed away at Iredell Memorial Hospital on January 26, 2024 at the age of 98 following a long illness. The third of five children born to Zebulon Baird Smith and Lila Bost Smith, Ray was preceded in death by his parents, siblings, Carl Smith, William Smith, Lois Smith, Julia Smith Brinkley, and spouse Pinkie Catherine Young Smith.

A World War II veteran, Ray served with distinction in the China, Burma, India theater as an Army Air Corps radio and radar engineer transporting supplies over the Himalayas to Allied troops. He kept in touch with his comrades through membership in the Metrolina CBI Basha.

Following the war, Ray attended Mitchell College, UNC Chapel Hill, and Lenoir Rhyne College prior to beginning a career as an educator. Ray received his MA and EDS degrees from Appalachian State University while working as a teacher and principal. Ray married Pinkie Catherine Young Smith in 1949. They had three children, Vinson Young Smith, Amy Smith Gunthorpe, and Leslie Smith Sams. The couple were married for 74 years until Pinkie’s death in 2022.

Ray taught at various schools in Piedmont North Carolina and served as the principal of five elementary schools in Iredell County over the course of 34 years. He was named Iredell County’s first Head Start Director in 1968. Even after retirement he remained close to his former teachers and students and was often seen about Statesville conversing with them. Ray was the oldest living principal in Iredell County at the time of his death.

Ray spent his life in service to others, both during the war and later as an educator and father. Ray always asked what he could do for you.

Ray is survived by his children Vinson Smith, Amy Smith Gunthorpe (husband Douglas), and Leslie Smith Sams (husband William), sister-in-law, Elizabeth Barkley Smith, grandchildren Kathryn Marie Gunthorpe and Andrew Trotter Sams (wife Sarah), and great-grandchildren Dante Battani and Ada Sams.

A lifelong Lutheran, Ray was a member of St John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Statesville. Ray’s celebration of life will be held at the church at 2:00 PM on February 10, 2024 with visitation preceding at 1:00 PM and burial following the funeral service at Oakwood Cemetery, Statesville.

Special thank you to Ray’s caregivers, Dr. Raj Joshi, Ruth Keene, Brandi Darling, Sandy Ballard, Betty Stewart and Lucy Meehan.

Memorials may be made to St John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 740 North Center Street, Statesville, 28677 <> and Children’s Homes of Iredell County, PO Box 451, Statesville, NC 28687 <>.  

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February 10, 2024

1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
St. John's Lutheran Church
740 N. Center St.
Statesville, NC 28677

Funeral Service
February 10, 2024

2:00 PM
St. John's Lutheran Church
740 N. Center St.
Statesville, NC 28677

Interment following funeral service
February 10, 2024

Oakwood Cemetery
114 Oakwood Dr.
Statesville, NC 28677


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