RAF Shinfield Park

Headquarters Flying Training Command 

(27th May 1940 - 1st June 1968)

Ray Smith - Death

Alan Causon sent this email message on Mar 2nd, 2015:

  • Dear Friends,
  • This is to let you all have the sad news that Ray has passed away. On the 22nd. February both Margareta and I spoke to him on a "One Way Conversation" which I am sure he appreciated and gave him comfort even though he could not reply. 
  • When I know about the Funeral Details I will do my best to inform you all should any of you wish to attend.                                                       
  • Kind Regards, Alan.

Alan had received the following email earlier the same day:

  • Dear friend,
  • It is with great sadness i am writing this email.
  • My dad Raymond passed away suddenly but peacefully on 27th Feb at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham and left instructions i should email from this account.
  • I am his eldest son Chris and you can email me at cssmudger@talktalk.net . 
  • At this time i am unable to announce funeral arrangements as I am waiting for the hospital to issue paperwork .
  • Peace be with you  Chris

This is an excerpt from an email from Alan Causon (info from Chris Smith, Ray’s son) on 12th March regarding funeral arrangements:

  • The Funeral Details are as follows
  • Date: 24th March.
  • Cremation: Shrewsbury Crematotium at 10.15 a.m. 
  • Thanksgiving Service: follows at 11.15 a.m. at The Belle View Methodist Church
  • This is the death notice from the Shropshire Star on March 11th, 2015:
  • SMITH Reverend Raymond Passed away peacefully on February 27, 2015, at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, after an illness fought with courage and bravery, aged 78 years. Husband of the late Margaret, much loved Pop of Chris and Martyn,Father-in-law to Tracey and Lisa, Brother to Mary and Grandpop to his eleven Grandchildren and five Great-Grandchildren. He will be sadly missed by all his Family and many Friends. A Service of Thanksgiving will take place at Belle Vue Methodist Church, Shrewsbury, on Tuesday, March 24, 2015, at 11.15am. No black to be worn, bright colours and smiles as requested by Ray. Family flowers only please but donations if desired to be divided between The British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research UK.All inquiries please to 01743 344646

Adrian Reddall sent the following celebration of Ray Smith’s life on 26th March, 2015.

  • The celebration service for the life of Ray Smith who (in his own words) exchanged life for eternity on 27th February, 2015
  • I was so thankful that I was able to be at the celebration of Ray’s life at the church where he had been a member since his retirement from full time ministry, Belle View Methodist Church, Shrewsbury.
  • The church was full to overflowing.  I had arrived a half an hour before it was due to commence and there was, even then, standing room only.  This was surely a testimony to the high regard in which he was held and the love and care he had exercised during his full time ministry and in his “retirement” when he continued to have an influence on so many people’s lives.
  • Many tributes were paid to him commencing with a written tribute from Alan Causon relating to his life at Shinfield Park.  This was followed by a retired Minister who had trained with Ray at the Methodist College in Birmingham.  He spoke of Ray’s sense of humour, and of his purpose in his studies.  The next speaker was another Minister who had first met Ray in the Retford circuit and then latterly in the Shropshire area.  A very heartfelt and warm tribute was given by a steward from the Minsterley circuit where Ray had spent 21 years and from where he retired.  He spoke of Ray’s wonderful care for his (the steward’s) family when his son was killed in a road accident; and of his boundless energy and enthusiasm in the church life of the area.  Ray had been involved, following his retirement, in prison ministry until the Shrewsbury Prison closed.  A colleague spoke of Ray’s commitment to, not only visiting, but to following up ex prisoners on their release with correspondence and even to the extent of doing their washing.  His ministry amongst that group was in great demand.  The final tributes were from two members of Belle View who spoke personally of the great help Ray had been to them.  Our attention was drawn to a flower bed outside the church which Ray had recently renovated and planted with daffodils which were now in full bloom.
  • The tributes were punctuated with hymns all chosen by Ray.  There then followed a eulogy, the content of which was largely provided by his two sons, Christopher and Martin, and by other friends.  Ray had in recent years been a much appreciated and knowledgeable courier on holidays to the Holy Land and also with Saga holidays.  He was a dedicated gardener and an accomplished cook.   We were left with the memory of a lovely man who had enjoyed a loving marriage to Margaret which sadly ended with her untimely death 6 years ago.  They had made a wonderful team.  Ray has dealt with his own health problems over the past few years with remarkable fortitude and maintained his sense of humour and his faith to the last.
  • The service ended with a reflection led by the minister on the last two verses of Psalm 33 which Ray wanted to be included in the Service – “In God our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you”.
  • The last verse of the last hymn we sang had been sung at Ray and Margaret’s wedding and sums up Ray’s life and faith.
  • ‘Tis Jesus, the first and the last,
  • Whose Spirit shall guide us safe home;
  • We’ll praise him for all that is past,
  • And trust him for all that’s to come
  • Adrian Reddall Ex Shinfield Park

Alan Causon sent the following email on Tuesday, 21st April, 2015

Dear Andre,

These photos (see below) were taken when Raymond stayed with us at our home in Swanage for the last time in August 2013. I thought that it would be appropriate for one of these or both to be added to the Shinfield Website. You will notice that his smile was still evident even though he was well aware of the seriousness of his illness. He never complained and was always optimistic for his recovery.Trusting that that you will share my views .  

Kind Regards, Alan.