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Ray Thomas Smith, March 8, 1945 – September 5, 2023

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Ray Thomas Smith was called from this life September 5, 2023 at the St. Cloud Hospital following complications after routine defibrillator replacement surgery. He was 78 years old.

Visitation will be held Monday, September 11, 2023 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Murdock, Minnesota. The rosary will be prayed at 3:45 p.m., with a prayer service at 6:30 p.m. Visitation will continue Tuesday, September 12, 2023 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m, with a mass of Christian burial at 10:30 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Murdock. Burial will be in St. Malachy’s Catholic Cemetery in Clontarf, Minnesota.

Ray was born to Elmer C. and LaVerne (Bouta) Smith in Benson,  March 8, 1945. He was baptized and confirmed in the Catholic faith. He attended St. Francis Catholic School through the eighth grade and graduated from Benson High School in 1964. While in high school, Ray played football, basketball, and baseball.

Following high school, Ray served four years in the U. S. Air Force, stationed in Texas, Greece, and Utah. After being honorably discharged in October of 1968, Ray worked at Willmar Electric Service until school started in August. In July, 1971, he graduated from the Construction Electricity course at Canby Vo-Tech and began working at Loen Electric in Benson, where he worked until he retired in June of 2010. He then went to work seasonally at Agvise Laboratories until his death.

April 8, 1972, Ray was united in marriage to Bonnie Benham at St. Malachy’s Catholic Church in Clontarf, by the Rev. John C. Cooney. They were active members of St. Malachy’s until it no longer had Sunday masses in 2016. Ray served as an usher, Eucharistic minister, on the Parish Council, and was active in the Men’s Club. He was a lifetime member of the Knights of Columbus, serving as Recorder from 1974 until his death, and simultaneously as Grand Knight for two terms.

When St. Malachy’s closed, Ray and Bonnie joined Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Murdock, where he served as a Eucharistic minister, an usher, and was on the board of Catholic United Financial.

Little children were always special to Ray. It was a highlight of his life when he became a grandfather. His favorite times were when the sons, daughters-in-law, and grandchildren visited, or he could attend one of their school activities or programs.

Ray was a great sports fan, following all the Minnesota teams and watching other teams on TV if no Minnesota team was televised. He played softball for several years on the Red Owl team and coached the Clontarf Little League team.

Ray is survived by his wife Bonnie, his sons: Tom (Katie) of Sebeka, Justin (Lindsay) of Benson, and six grandchildren: Rachael, Mattea, Caleb, and Aubrey of Sebeka, and Nolan and Oliver of Benson, two brothers: Jim of St. Cloud and Mike (Kari) of Blaine, and two aunts: Margaret Johnson and Gert Bouta.

He was preceded in death by his father Elmer in 1960, his mother LaVerne in 2004, five brothers: Elmer, Jr. in 1952, Ronnie in 2012, Bob in 1998, and two in infancy, his mother and father-in-law Wes and Bernice Benham, many aunts and uncles, and several cousins.

Blessed be his memory.

Zniewski Funeral Home is helping the family with arrangements.

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