The following is from Brooke Brakke Judge (Class of ’97), Director of Alumni Relations at Charles Wright Academy.
It is will deep sadness that I share the news of Ray’s [Raymond R. R. Smith] passing. [June 4, 1929-March 19, 2014.]
Ray, a Tacoma native, attended Lincoln High School. In 1951 the army borrowed Ray for two years of counter-intelligence work in Korea and other parts of Asia. On his return from Korea, Ray entered the College of Puget Sound from which he graduated with a degree in political science in 1957.
That same year the Reverend Charles Bradshaw, Headmaster of the new Charles Wright Academy, invited Ray out to the campus to show slides and talk about his travels in Asia. Impressed by his young visitor, Charles offered Ray a job the next year as fifth grade teacher, and Ray began his career at CWA.
Ray dedicated thirty-seven years to CWA, from 1957-1995. Charles Wright has never had a faculty member who has played so many important roles as Ray. Here is a partial list, partial because no one, including Ray, kept track of them all: teacher of English, math, history, reading, science, Japanese, Latin, high school biology, geology, Asian Studies; Director of Admissions, Alumni Relations, Financial Aid, baseball coach, tour director, and Head of Lower School.
After a full career at CWA, Ray left a legacy any teacher would envy. He was the father of many CWA traditions including Sasquatch Day (known today as Tussock Moth Day) and our exchange programs in Japan. Affectionately labeled “The Worldly Mr. Smith,” Ray laid the groundwork for students to participate in and learn about different cultures long before the term “multiculturalism” was coined. Ray was an incredible man and his legacy will continue to inspire generations of Tarriers.
We will be in touch if and when we learn about plans for a service. In the meantime, please send your memories of Ray to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will share them with his family.
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