Raymond Maitland Smith (1923-2021)

Raymond Maitland Smith (1923-2021)

Raymond Maitland Smith, affectionately known to his wife, family and friends as “Honey”, Dad, Ray, Smitty, and Papaw, passed away peacefully at his home and orange ranch in Reedley, CA on July 12, 2021. Ray was 98 years young.
Ray was born on January 3, 1923 in Brea, CA to the parents of Maitland and Marie Smith and grew up in Orange County, where during his teen-age years, he met the love of his life, Laura Nadine Henning (Smith), who had just recently moved to California, arriving from Kansas. Just shy of Nadine graduating from high school, Ray and Nadine snuck off to Arizona and eloped, starting an adventurous life together, producing four children and a loving marriage that would last nearly 68 years.
Ray Smith was a World War II veteran, having served in the Navy on the attack transport vessel, the U.S.S. Hendry (APA-118) in 1944 and 1945. After completing his service Ray returned to Orange County and along with his wife Nadine, raised their family there until 1957. They moved the family to Atlanta, Georgia when Ray was transferred to the South, working as a regional manager for Hunt Foods. However, ranching was always his first love career-wise, having studied Agriculture at college. In the early 60’s, he gave up his job and moved the family back to California, settling in Fillmore, where he, his brother and father established a citrus ranch in Bardsdale. From there, Ray expanded his orange grove empire to Piru, CA, and eventually relocated to central California, owning and operating ranches in San Luis Obispo, Lindsay, Orange Cove and most recently, Reedley, CA, where he continued to ranch well into his 90’s. Ray also spent several years raising and training horses, often competing alongside Nadine in local riding competitions.
When able to take a break from the ranches, Ray and Nadine enjoyed to travel with close friends but mostly loved spending time with their still-to-this-day, ever growing family. Whether it be attending grandkids’ and great-grandkids’ sporting events or hosting family for lake vacations or holiday home visits, family gatherings always brought a bright smile to Ray’s face. Ray leaves his four children, Sharon (Johnnie) Ferguson of Paso Robles, CA; Brent (Linda) Smith of Arroyo Grande, CA; Denise (Steve) Weeks of Arroyo Grande, CA; and Lori (Greg) Nunez of Fillmore, CA. Ray loved and adored his 11 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren (with 2 more due very soon!) and 3 great-great grandchildren – all too many to name J.
Ray Smith was preceded in death by his wife Nadine Smith, parents Maitland and Marie Smith, his brother Robert Smith, and great-great granddaughter Paisley Rolff.
Love ya, Dad/Papaw…give Mom/Nana a huge hug for us all!!!