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Message from the Family

Thank you for your support during this difficult time. Please enhance this tribute to Ray by adding your memories and photos.

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Memories & Candles

“I am very sorry for your loss, i know that ray was such a great kid. I'm very sorry that i am not able to make it to the visitation. You will always...Read More »
1 of 14 | Posted by: sarah Hayataka - ROCKFORD, MI

“I will always remember Ray for his upbeat attitude and that beautiful smile. I first met him as a patient getting a Pentam treatment, but later...Read More »
2 of 14 | Posted by: Betty Castleman - Grand Rapids, MI

“Dear Elise, Fred, John and Ken; We know our heartbreak over Ray’s passing can’t come close to matching yours. We will miss Ray very much and...Read More »
3 of 14 | Posted by: The Jendritz Family - Rockford, MI

“Dear Fred, Elise, John and Kenny; Our family holds you in our thoughts and prayers. Your faith in God and the love you share for one another...Read More »
4 of 14 | Posted by: Audrey Tyler-Creasey - Rockford, MI

“What a wonderful blessing Ray was to your family. May you take comfort knowing that he is now resting peacefully with God. We offer you our prayers...Read More »
5 of 14 | Posted by: Ginny Mock - Magnolia, TX

“Dear Fred, Elise and Family, My heartfelt sympathy and prayers are with all of you during this difficult time. It is a time of celebration for we...Read More »
6 of 14 | Posted by: Cathy Altman - Ferdinand, IN

“May all our prayers help sustain you during this difficult time. ”
7 of 14 | Posted by: Linda Petersen - Grand Rapids, MI

“May God's love heal your sorrow, and may His peace replace your heartache with warm and loving memories. Your familiy is in our thoughts and prayers...Read More »
8 of 14 | Posted by: Tina Rendel - Rockford, MI

“Ray's smile was like sunshine! He was such a smooth talker always trying to distract me, his OT from what we needed to get done. But I always...Read More »
9 of 14 | Posted by: Nora Saenz - Grand Rapids, MI

Ray at Freshman Homecoming Dinner at Carlson's house, October 2010. “Ray will always be remembered as having more courage than any young man I have ever known. So many life lessons can be learned from Ray's journey,...Read More »
10 of 14 | Posted by: Tracey Huff - Rockford, MI

“Words cannot express my deep sadness at hearing about your son Ray. Thru his suffering here I know he has a place next to God. I wish I could be...Read More »
11 of 14 | Posted by: Mary Kafka - Ramona, CA - Cousin

“Our prayers are with you as you lay Ray to rest. The Lord works in mysterious ways His wonders to perform. I can tell you the Smith family has...Read More »
12 of 14 | Posted by: Bruce Miedema - Plymouth, MI

“Ray was a conquerer. He endured his sickness under the power of the Holy Spirit. When you watch someone go through such difficulty the way Ray did,...Read More »
13 of 14 | Posted by: Tricia Korhorn - Rockford, MI

“Dear Fred, Elise, John, Ken and Hannie We have watched you all walk this road with Ray, with Courage and Faith. You are a testament to the...Read More »
14 of 14 | Posted by: Don and Judy Feutz - grand rapids, MI


Raymond Myron Smith age 17 of Rockford Michigan went home to celebrate eternal life with Jesus on January 1, 2013. Ray was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan on June 21, 1995.
He attended Roguewood Elementary School, Rockford North Middle School and Rockford High School. Ray had a personality that was one of a kind, his sense of humor and love for life had an impact on everyone around him. Whether he was hanging with his friend at BW's, snowboarding or golfing with his family at Crystal Mountain or fishing with his dad, Ray was always the life of the party. Ray enjoyed a wide variety of interests like SCORE soccer, Middle School Band, wrestling, woodworking, his dogs and his rabbit Dr. Waffel. Ray's heart for people led him to help out with the little ones at church and working the sound booth for the worship team. Ray accepted Jesus into his heart while at Never The Same Camp in 2009, he was baptized that August. In December Ray found out he had Leukemia. Many times God used Ray's life to reveal his miraculous power. During his three year journey with cancer Ray learned to rely on his faith as a result his love for God and others grew.

During his three year journey there were many people who brought joy to Ray and his family. Ray's family will always be thankful for the wonderful doctors, nurses and caregivers who have shown them so much love, determination and kindness. The Make A Wish Foundation provided a memorable trip to Hawaii last January, his family will always treasure that special time. Ray also enjoyed the support from his youth group "United", his soccer Small Group Friends and so many cherished friends.

Ray was preceded in death by his grandparents Myron & Phyllis Smith and Arnold van Riel. Ray is survived by his parents, Fred & Elise Smith; his brothers, John & Ken; his oma, Hannie van Riel and his aunts & uncles; Nick & Prudy Smith, Dan & Nancy Smith, Edwin & Angelique van Riel; his cousins, Jenni Smith, Jeff & Gina Smith (daughters Rachel & Jossilyn) and Merel van Riel.

A service of praise and reflection for the life God gave to Ray will be held 1:00 PM Saturday, January 5, 2012 at the Berkley Hills Community Church, 1670 Ball Avenue NE Grand Rapids. Ray's family will greet relatives and friends Thursday from 2 to 4 PM, Friday 5 to 8 PM at the Stegenga Funeral Chapel, 1601 Post Dr. NE, Belmont and one hour prior to the service at church. Interment Elmwood Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to an memorial fund to be used in Ray's memory, checks may be made to Stegenga Funeral Chapel.