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Edwards Funeral Home

201 North 12th Street, Fort Smith, AR

OBITUARY

Ray Stroud

February 17, 1943June 15, 2020
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Norman Ray Stroud went to meet his heavenly Father on June 15, 2020. Born February 17, 1943, he grew up in Fort Smith, a 1961 graduate of Northside High School, attended Oklahoma State University and Henderson State College, and served six years in the 188th Fighter Wing of the Arkansas Air National Guard from 1968-1974.

Ray spent 16 years with the Kroger Co., progressing up the corporate ladder from sacker to store manager. At different times, he managed Kroger stores in Fort Smith, Fayetteville and Little Rock. In 1976 he decided to become a co-owner of Mr. Rob’s Cleaners and Laundry and grew the business to include five stores in Fort Smith, two in Van Buren and one in Greenwood. In 1993 he became a joint owner with his sister Beverly Cates. He sold the business last year and was enjoying retirement. He was an avid classic car buff, had owned several and had attended classic car shows all over the USA.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Buell “Red” and Jean Stroud. Survivors include his sister, Beverly and her husband Lt. Col. Bob Cates USAF (Ret.) of Ft. Smith; a niece, Krista and husband Ron Howard of Roland; two nephews, Robert and wife Renee Cates of Ft. Smith and Bryan Cates of Ozark; great nieces, Eaven Ward and Kylie Howard; great nephew, Colton Howard; his two dogs, Bo and Sissy; and several relatives and friends.

Honorary pallbearers are Gary Don Knight, Larry White, Don Tankersley, Dwaine Shepherd, Jeff Daniels and Bob Cates.

Viewing will be Thursday, June 18, 2020 from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm at Edwards Funeral Home. Private services and burial will be held at Forest Park Cemetery at a later date.

Memorial donations may be made to Kitties & Kanines, 4900 Rogers Ave. #100A, Ft. Smith, AR 72903. Online condolences may be made at www.edwardsfuneralhome.com

  • FAMILY

  • Jean Stroud, Mother (deceased)
  • Buell “Red” Stroud, Father (deceased)
  • Beverly and her husband Lt. Col. Bob Cates USAF (Ret.), Sister
  • Krista and husband Ron Howard, Niece
  • Robert and wife Renee Cates, Nephew
  • Bryan Cates, Nephew
  • Eaven Ward, Great niece
  • Kylie Howard, Great niece
  • Colton Howard, Great nephew
  • Ray is also survived by his two dogs, Bo and Sissy and several relatives and friends.
  • PALLBEARERS

  • Gary Don Knight, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Larry White, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Don Tankersley, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Dwaine Shepherd, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Jeff Daniels, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Bob Cates, Honorary Pallbearer
  • DONATIONS

  • Kitties & Kanines

Services

  • Public Viewing

    Thursday, June 18, 2020

  • Graveside Memorial

    Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Memories

Ray Stroud

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Gary and Marcia Witcher

June 18, 2020

Our sincere condolences to the family. He was such a great guy and neighbor.

Judy & Don Schaap

June 18, 2020

My parents, Nila & Jim McKnight were Jean & Bruell Stroud’s dear friends & neighbors. Beverly & Ray & I were close in age & grew up together! Our parents played canasta & marbles on the weekend, went on outings & shared many meals

Ray loved motorcycles & he took me riding. Ray & Robert Winters, whose dad owned a motorcycle shop in Fort smith, were best friends, having the love for a beautiful, shiny new bike, always impeccably clean❣️

Always have fond memories of our time growing up. His mother would iron his clothes & he always dressed sharp❣️ Any wonder he owned a cleaners w/Beverly❣️

Beverly, family & friends, our sincere sympathy in your loss. Treasure the happy memories & may they give you strength & courage in the days ahead. Regret we could not make the visitation Love & prayers, Judy & Don Schaap

Elane Brecher

June 18, 2020

Ray you will be so missed at our 60th class reunion! Fly high old friend. My sincere condolences to the entire family.

Deborah Ashworth-Hoffman

June 18, 2020

Over 25 years ago Ray was one of my running buddies. So many fond memories of going to the horse races, Bert Wright’s pool every Weekend in the summer, watching Sunday football at Danny Freeman’s house and multiple lunch dates with the whole gang playing the number game to see who had to pick up the tab for the whole table. He was at my wedding when I married. After I married, and with my husband’s blessing I would still have dinner with him from time to time. As I had children and life happened, I saw less and less of him which makes me sad. He was a dear friend and I will never forget him.

Marilynda Farris

June 18, 2020

I have fond memories of Ray being my parent's paperboy. He must have been in junior high and rode a motorcycle. What a good looking young man with a great personality. A few years later, I would see him in the produce department at Kroger's in Park Plaza. Always dressed sharp, no matter what he was doing. Beverly, so sorry for your loss. I know it is hard to give up a brother. May God give you Peace in this difficult time.

Ron Vervack

June 18, 2020

A great guy and good friend for years. He was my “car” mentor. Lived with him briefly in Little Rock when I was living there. I think of him often.😞

Philip Merry

June 18, 2020

LOYAL ! FRIENDLY ! FAIR ! ALWAYS SMILING ! STEADFAST !
BRAVE ONE WHO SERVED HIS COUNTRY (VETERAN) !

Ray was a great guy! I am so honored and proud to be a friend of his. So many attributes come to mind where Ray is concerned. I can only hope the first word that comes to one's mind someday when I must depart this world is the same word that in my view totally applies to Ray Stroud--- LOYAL !!!!!!
I will miss him terribly. I learned from Ray. I enjoyed listening to and visiting with Ray. His on-going example of "smiling all of the time" will never be forgotten . I thank you Ray---for everything! Now then! Go radiate God's place upstairs with that incredible smile of yours!
---Philip H. Merry, Jr.

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Biography

Norman Ray Stroud went to meet his heavenly Father on June 15, 2020. Born February 17, 1943, he grew up in Fort Smith, a 1961 graduate of Northside High School, attended Oklahoma State University and Henderson State College, and served six years in the 188th Fighter Wing of the Arkansas Air National Guard from 1968-1974.

Ray spent 16 years with the Kroger Co., progressing up the corporate ladder from sacker to store manager. At different times, he managed Kroger stores in Fort Smith, Fayetteville and Little Rock. In 1976 he decided to become a co-owner of Mr. Rob’s Cleaners and Laundry and grew the business to include five stores in Fort Smith, two in Van Buren and one in Greenwood. In 1993 he became a joint owner with his sister Beverly Cates. He sold the business last year and was enjoying retirement. He was an avid classic car buff, had owned several and had attended classic car shows all over the USA.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Buell “Red” and Jean Stroud. Survivors include his sister, Beverly and her husband Lt. Col. Bob Cates USAF (Ret.) of Ft. Smith; a niece, Krista and husband Ron Howard of Roland; two nephews, Robert and wife Renee Cates of Ft. Smith and Bryan Cates of Ozark; great nieces, Eaven Ward and Kylie Howard; great nephew, Colton Howard; his two dogs, Bo and Sissy; and several relatives and friends.


Honorary pallbearers are Gary Don Knight, Larry White, Don Tankersley, Dwaine Shepherd, Jeff Daniels and Bob Cates.

Viewing will be Thursday, June 18, 2020 from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm at Edwards Funeral Home. Private services and burial will be held at Forest Park Cemetery at a later date.

Memorial donations may be made to Kitties & Kanines, 4900 Rogers Ave. #100A, Ft. Smith, AR 72903. Online condolences may be made at www.edwardsfuneralhome.com