The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


September 13, 2012

Raymond Earl Smith "Smitty"


Raymond Earl Smith "Smitty" went to his heavenly home on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, at the age of 99 ½, following a year of declining health.

Ray was born Feb. 10, 1913, in Cherryvale, Kan.,, the youngest of six children born to Leonard Elmer and Cora Mae (Templeton) Smith. The family moved to Neosho when Ray was 10 years old and his parents owned and operated the Big Spring Inn, of Neosho. They lived on a farm southeast of town and he attended Pleasant Valley School and then Neosho Schools, where he played high school basketball. Following high school, he attended business college and then returned to Neosho, and went to work at Phil Ratliff's Feed and Farm Store. Here, he met Mary Ellen Bishop, who became his wife in 1941. He served in the Army during World War II, returned home and was married in November, then went back and served in the Navy when war was declared in December. After returning to Neosho, he purchased a feed store and hatchery, Raymond Smith Feeder Supply and Mary Ellen became his bookkeeper and they worked together for many years. When Phil Ratliff passed away, Ray returned to Ratliff's as manager until his retirement. He was involved with farming throughout his life and acquired numerous friends. He had a love for dogs and always had one or two and was an avid supporter of Faithful Friends. In his later years, he and Mary Ellen enjoyed feeding the ducks at Big Spring Park and Morse Park and going to Wal-Mart and McDonalds where they visited with friends. Ray was an active member of the First Christ Church and had served in many positions.

He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Mary Ellen (Bishop) Smith; one son, Dennis Smith and wife, Judith K. (Pollock) Smith, Tulsa, Okla.; one daughter, Joan E. Martin and husband, Dr. Clarence A. Martin, Neosho; two grandsons, Raymond B. Smith and wife, Keri and Howard T. Smith; two granddaughters, Sarah K. Martin Katie and Rebecca E. Martin; and two great-grandchildren, Benjamin R. Smith and Rebecca B. Smith. In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by three brothers, Frank, Forest and Robert Smith; and two sisters, Ellen Schlehuber and Florine Ratliff.

Services will be Saturday, Sept. 15, at 2 p.m. at the Clark Funeral Home Chapel of Memories. Rev. Al Gritten will officiate. Friends may call at the Clark Funeral Home, Neosho, on Friday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Contributions in memory of Raymond may be made to the First Christian Church or Faith Friends Animal Advocates in care of Clark Funeral Home, P.O. Box 66, Neosho, MO 64850.

Arrangements are under the direction of Clark Funeral Home, Neosho.

Online condolences may be posted at

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