Photography

Ernest Ray Smith

April 14, 2020

Obituary

Mr. Ernest Ray Smith, 86, of McLemoresville, TN passed away Tuesday April 14, 2020.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 61 years, Virginia Espey Smith on July 3, 2015. He is survived by his son, Kenny Smith (Susan) of Knoxville, TN and his two granddaughters, Dr. Rachel Smith (David) of Chicago, IL and Amy Kennedy (Adam) of Knoxville, TN. He is also survived by his brothers, Jerry Smith (Sue) of Huntington, TN, Murray Smith of Huntington, TN and Marshall Smith (Faye) of Camden, TN. He was preceded in death by his parents, Ernest Loyd Smith and Rachel Reynolds Smith of Huntington and his sisters, Wilma McKinney (Buddy) of McKenzie, TN and Jean Wilson (Horace) of Havre de Grace, MD.

Ray was a charter member, deacon and Sunday School teacher of McLemoresville Baptist Church where he faithfully served his entire adult life. He was also actively involved in the McLemoresville community. After serving in the US Army, he began his career as a welder at McKenzie Boat Company where he worked his way up to become a partner and then sole owner. He sold the Cherokee Boat franchise in the late 70’s but kept the McKenzie Boat Company name and focused on boat repairs. At that time, he became a co-owner in the NAPA Auto Parts store in McKenzie, TN and operated the boat repair business behind that store. After retiring from NAPA, he moved his boat repair business to McLemoresville where he worked until the end of 2014.

Ray was also known for his love of quail hunting and was famous for the quail meals he would prepare at his church. He had deep, close friendships that he continued to maintain until Alzheimer’s disease began to take its toll.He moved to an assisted living facility in Knoxville near his son, Kenny in early 2018. Ray’s body was donated for scientific research through Restore Life USA.

Donations can be made in his memory to The Alzheimer’s Associationat alz.org.

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