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Billy Ray Smith
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Obituary for Billy Ray Smith

La Grange-Billy Ray Smith, 85, of La Grange, passed away Thursday, October 5, 2017. Billy Ray was born July 6, 1932 in Lenoir County to the late Cullen Smith and Della Mae White Smith.

Billy Ray proudly served his country in the United States Air Force. He was a veteran of the Korean Conflict and Vietnam War. He retired following 21 years of faithful service with the rank of Technical Sergeant.

While in service, Billy Ray met his soul mate and best friend, Zelia Riegel. Always together, their love story personified what God intended with holy matrimony. Billy Ray worshiped the ground his beloved Zelia walked on. For many years Zelia and Billy Ray operated Zelia’s Ceramics in La Grange.

Billy Ray was a member of Wheat Swamp Christian Church. He was a Mason and in earlier years found great pleasure in fishing. Good natured, never angry and one to never raise his voice, Billy Ray enjoyed good conversation with all he came in contact with.

A graveside service with full military honors will be held Monday, October 9, 2017 at 11 a.m. from Pinelawn Memorial Park with Pastor Hank Jarman officiating.

Billy Ray is survived by his wife of sixty two years, Zelia Riegel Smith. In addition to his parents, Billy was preceded in death by a sister, Jean Smith Suber; and a brother, Dr. Wilton Smith.

Family and friends will be received Monday following the graveside service. Online condolences may be expressed at Memorials may be made to Wheat Swamp Christian Church, 3732 Wheat Swamp Road, La Grange, NC 28551. Arrangements are with Rouse Funeral Home, La Grange.

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Billy Ray Smith, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events





11:00 AM
Pinelawn Memorial Park

4488 HIghway 70 West
Kinston, NC 28504

Visitation Will Follow Service

Cemetery Details


Pinelawn Memorial Park

4488 HIghway 70 West
Kinston, NC 28504

Memorial Contribution

Wheat Swamp Christian Church

3732 Wheat Swamp Road
La Grange, NC 28551

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