Ray Eugene Smith

September 27, 2000 12:00 am

Ray Eugene Smith, 82, Port Orford, died Sept. 18, in Coos Bay of complications following surgery.

Mr. Smith was born Oct. 31, 1917, in Salem, to Ralph and Vera Eudora Olmstead Smith.

He was raised in Oregon and enlisted in the Canadian Army in 1939, where he was a marksmanship instructor.

In 1943, he joined the United States Army and served as a radio operator in the 82nd Airborne, parachuting into the Normandy area June 5, in advance of the D-Day invasion.

Because of heavy losses in his regiment, he was then attached to the 101st Airborne and fought in the Battle of the Bulge. During the initial phase of the occupation of Berlin he was involved in restoring the electrical power grid in that city.

He received the Bronze Star, service arrowhead, European service medal, victory and good conduct medals.

He married Delia Murrell in Leicester, England in 1944.

After the war they lived in Clatskanie, Heppner, Oregon City, Portland, Vancouver Wash., and homesteaded for a time in Canada.

Mr. Smith worked for the Forest Service and as a printer. In 1967 they moved to Yakima, where he was employed as an electronics technician.

He spent his retirement traveling throughout the Western United States with his pomeranian dog Ruff, spending his last years in Port Orford. He enjoyed making friends and writing about his life experiences.

Survivors are sons Michael Brendan; Timothy Jon; Patric Sean; Daniel Conway; Collin Damon Smith; daughters Tamara Dee Weaver, Amanda Rae Wagner; sisters Ella Dornick and Eva Johnson.

He will be buried in Willamette National Cemetery.

Arrangements are under the direction of Coos Chapel, Coos Bay.