Husband, Dad, Grandpa – Raymond Smith passed away peacefully on Friday, January 21, 2022 in Hamilton, Ontario at the age of 86. Ray grew up in Long Branch, Ontario, the youngest of seven children. Her parents, Ernest and Phyllis Smith emigrated from England in 1919 to build a better life for their family. Ray attended the University of Toronto, the first in his family to pursue post-secondary education. He graduated in 1957 and continued his education, graduating from the Ontario College of Education soon after. Ray had the honor of being the first teacher hired at Ancaster High & Vocational School in 1959 where he had the privilege of serving the Ancaster community by teaching physical education, health, history, science and guidance for thirty-four years. He was head of the boys’ physical education department for most of those years. Ray has taught, coached and mentored hundreds of students for forty years, creating lasting relationships with many of them. Ray had a knack for making everyone feel unique and important. He shared his mind and his heart in everything he taught. For years, Ray could talk about any student and tell you what year he graduated from, what position he played on the basketball team, or how fast he could run the 100m. He was very proud to learn of the achievements of his former students throughout his life. Family was of utmost importance to Ray. He raised his family with Penny, to appreciate the importance of hard work, to treat others with respect, and to believe that you can accomplish almost anything you put your head and heart into. He also ensured that his children strived for high standards and morals, while embracing a wholesome sense of humor. He is loved and remembered by his wife Penny and his children Kim (Don), Kelly (Mike) and Kevin (Sara). He will be sadly missed by his seven grandchildren – John (Kate), Meghan (Bryan), Margaret (Stuart), Melanie, Michael (Sarah), Paige and Easton. Ray and Penny met in 1958 while sharing an ice cream cone. They forged a relationship based on mutual respect, kindness, and endless love and support for each other. Ray and Penny celebrated sixty years of marriage together last July. Ray liked to be busy – he spent many hours in his garden tending to his flowers, birds and squirrels. There was always a project going on. He was very smart with his hands and quickly oversaw all construction projects in progress – at home or at the cottage on Lake Huron. He spent many years collecting, repairing and selling antiques at auction and was always excited when he found the perfect addition to his collection. Ray also loved special occasions and holidays, especially Christmas, when he could display his large collection of Santa decorations and ornaments, preparing the house for family gatherings. Ray loved animals, providing happy homes for many pets, but a special mention must go to his beloved Raggs who was a great companion for many years. Ray was diagnosed with Merkel cell carcinoma in 2015. He endured numerous surgeries and treatment protocols, always with grace and dignity. A big thank you to the Juravinksi Cancer Centre, the nurses and the medical team of the 4C ward of the Juravinksi Hospital and the care team of St. Peter’s Hospital. A special thank you to nurses Kara and Dan for their compassionate and diligent care for Ray over the past six weeks. Ray was quick with a punch or a thumbs up to show his gratitude to the staff who have worked tirelessly during these unprecedented times. Everyone who met Ray was blessed to have him in their lives and he will be missed by all who had the joy of knowing him. Cremation has taken place and a celebration of life will take place at a later date. In lieu of flowers, and if interested, please consider donating to the Knot A Breast team. This is a team dear to Ray, a team that supports breast cancer survivors in their pursuit of healthy living through sport. Donation requests can be sent to [email protected] Arrangements entrusted to Dodsworth & Brown Funeral Home, Ancaster (905) 648-3852. Please sign the online condolence book at www.dbancaster.ca.
In memory and honor of Ray, please strive to support those around you, empowering them to reach their potential. Encourage them to know and believe that they can do whatever they set their minds to.

Published by The Hamilton Spectator on January 24, 2022.