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Tributes to former York police officer Ray Smith who has died aged 85
LONG serving policeman and former racecourse worker Ray Smith has died at the age of 85.
Mr Smith, who was a sergeant in the Huntington area of York in the 1960s and 1970s, spent more than 25 years working for the force around North Yorkshire, and was regularly responsible for walking the city walls and locking the gates on an evening.
He married Jean in 1950, about two years after they met at a dance in York, and she said he loved his work Mrs Smith said: “I think the worst thing he had to do in the police was to patrol at Whitby around the Abbey at night. That was one of his beats as a PC, and he thought it was a bit eerie.”
After leaving the police force in 1975, Mr Smith joined York Racecourse as office manager, and later as assistant to the clerk, before he retired in 1990.
Mr Smith’s son David, 59, said he had been relatively fit, but was diagnosed with prostate cancer after he collapsed in August.
He had been in hospital for three weeks, and died at York Hospital in the early hours of Monday.
David said: “He was quite a character, and certainly enjoyed his time at York Racecourse. He was proud of both jobs, as a policeman and at the racecourse.
“We always had a laugh with him, but he was occasionally strict.
He stood by the letter of the law and people still respected him in the area.”
Mrs Smith said: “He was very generous and devoted to his family and to me. He was a big man, but he was gentle, and loved his six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
They thought the world of him.
“He was a good father and husband, and my best friend. He had such a lot of friends from the police and racecourse, and he loved his work there.”
Mrs Smith thanked all the staff at York Hospital’s Ward 15 for their help and support during her husband’s stay.
A funeral will be held at York Crematorium on Friday, October 4, at 2.20pm. Donations in lieu of flowers to York Against Cancer.
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