Died on February 29, 2016Peggy Ray Smith, who never wavered in her love of American history - particularly that of Kansas City and Westport, was born in Kansas City, Mo., on January 1, 1922, the eldest daughter of Mildred and John McKee Ray. Peg said she didn't leave the world in better shape, but she sure did have a lot of fun while living in it!She graduated from Central High School before joining the U.S. Navy in August 1943. She served as a telegrapher until her discharge in February 1946. In December 1947, she married Lawrence Franklin Smith, who also recently had been discharged from the Navy. They returned to active duty in August 1948 and served for 10 more years in the continental U.S and Hawaii. Upon their release, they moved to Fairway, Kan. Peggy was employed in the reference room at the Kansas City Public Library for nearly 25 years until her retirement in 1985. For several years, Peggy and Larry were able to enjoy trout fishing with their families until his untimely death in 1984.Before joining the Missouri Valley Room at the Public Library, Peggy was proud to have become a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and a member of the Daughters of the American Colonists. While at the library, she suggested the city fathers change the name of the Intercity Viaduct to the Lewis and Clark Viaduct; 40 years later, in 2010, she was officially recognized by the Lewis and Clark Association. Also at the library, she was pleased to have her booklet "Historic Points" reprinted several times in the 1960s and '70s. She was a fearless author of letters to the editor at "The Kansas City Star."After her retirement, she became the historian of the Westport Historical Society, a position she held for nearly a decade. She was successful in her efforts to have a street in Westport renamed Bridger Road in honor of the renowned frontiersman, scout and guide, Jim Bridger.For several years, Peggy was a member of many historical societies around the area. More recently, she was an active member in the Lewis and Clark Chapter, Native Sons and Daughters, and the Trailside Center. Her love/hate relationship with the Kansas City Chiefs continued for 40 years; she reluctantly gave up her season tickets in 2008.Her survivors include a son, Scott Cordell Smith of Grain Valley, Mo.; his wife, Shelley; two grandchildren, Travis Smith and Alison Cole, both of Overland Park, Kan; three great-grandchildren, two nephews and a niece. She also leaves a dear buddy of more than four decades, Joycee Francisco of Lenexa, Kan.Cremation and burial will be at Leavenworth National Cemetery, where she will rejoin her husband. Donations may be made to the Trailside Center and the Native Sons and Daughters in her memory.
SERVICES Memorial Service
Saturday, March 5, 2016 2:00 PM
Muehlebach Funeral Home 6800 Troost Avenue Kansas City, Missouri
Monday, March 7, 2016 1:30 PM
Leavenworth National Cemetery 150 8th Street Leavenworth, Kansas 66048