Edward Ralph Smith, 81, of Payson, died June 22, 2007. He was born Aug. 26, 1925 in La Junta, Colo.
He migrated with his family to Wyoming, then settling in Billings, Mont., where he graduated from Billings High School. He graduated from the University of Missoula, after serving two years in the Air Force. It was at college where Mr. Smith met the love of his life, Nancy Jean Nolan, who preceded him in death, Aug. 4, 2006, after 59 years of marriage.
In the mid-1960s, the Smiths moved to California with their three young children, and Mr. Smith changed careers from the paint and glass industry to teaching grade school. He attended San Diego State to obtain his degree, followed by a satisfying and fulfilling 16 years of teaching.
The Smiths moved to Payson in 1985 upon retiring and Mr. Smith became involved in the community. He formed a stamp club for school-age children, built and sold dollhouses, and enjoyed fishing, golfing and bowling.
He was an Eagle Scout, artist, fisherman and philatelist, with a dry wit. He was also a loving husband, father and brother.
He is survived by his three children, Cheri Kinney of Payson, Pamn Baptist of Oro Valley/Tucson and Ralph "Bink" Smith of Payson; sister Bee Wiedeman of Payson; four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
A celebration of Mr. Smith's life will be held from 2 to 5 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 4 at the Smith home, 310 E. Chateau Circle in Payson.
Donations may be made to RTA Hospice and Palliative Care, 511 S. Mud Springs Road, Payson, AZ 85541.