Raymond Beach Smith 1945 - 2013

Raymond Beach Smith, 67, died recently due to complications from a stroke. Ray was born August 23, 1945, the child of Genevieve Wood and William (Bill) Smith.

He was proud to continue the family tradition of being a pilot and waterman. His grandfather, Col. Andy Smith, was a pilot in World War I and one of the first flight surgeons in World War II, leading a major rescue mission in the Philippines. Ray’s father was a B-17 pilot, flying over one hundred missions, including the Battle of Midway and was killed in a flight test accident in 1946. Ray started building and flying radio-controlled airplanes as a child and graduated with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering from CalPoly, San Luis Obispo. He was a Viet Nam-era veteran. He worked in flight testing at Edwards Air Force Base, Pt Magu, and Fallbrook Naval Station, and then became a teacher. In 1993 he began two new ventures, being primary caregiver for his new daughter and launching his new business, Hobbies Aloft. Through Hobbies Aloft, Ray  taught hundreds of people around the world to fly, gave kids’ classes for the Lyceum, and was a consultant to several scientific projects. He loved to design and fly RC airplanes, and just before his stroke had obtained his pilot’s license. Ray grew up in Corona Del Mar (Newport Harbor High School class of 1963), swimming, playing and surfing at Big Corona and the Wedge. He loved surfing and nurturing children’s surfing all over the coast, including Baja. He enjoyed all creatures, and personally rescued over fifty cats, dogs, and a wide variety of other animals.

Ray is joining in sky and sea his grandfather, mother, father, brother Andy (Panda) and his  beloved son, Jordy. He will be lovingly remembered by his sister, Jean (and husband Jim) Kirby of Valyermo, his son, Colin (and wife Kerry), grandsons Tanner and Trent of San Diego, his daughter, Kateyrae Brown and wife, Karen Brown of Monterey.

Ray’s ashes will be scattered soon off Big Corona following a paddle out ceremony. Memorial donations may be sent to the animal care organization of your choice or Community Hospital Foundation 40 Ryan Court Suite 200 Monterey 93940, with “Behavior Health Services, Stroke and Depression” in the note field.

His family is grateful to caregivers and medical workers who helped him in the last year, and the friends, neighbors, and law enforcement workers who stood by him and searched for him. Before the stroke, Ray was filled with humor and enthusiasm for life, and that is how he will be remembered by students, friends and family always.

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