News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Michael Ray Smith, June 21, 1940 — April 20, 2020

Michael Ray Smith passed away April 20, in Vancouver, Washington, from complications from heart and kidney disease and diabetes. He was 79. He was born to Naomi and Ray Smith (Sisters, Oregon), in Imperial, California in 1940.

Michael’s parents met and married in Sisters. They eventually moved to Imperial because of work opportunities where Mike was born. After the 1940 earthquake, they moved back to Sisters. Mike attended first grade through 12th grade at Sisters schools, graduating in 1958 from Sisters High School. He lettered in all sports.

Mike was elected to play for the East-West Shrine football game in Pendleton. He was inducted into the Sisters Outlaws Hall of Fame as part of the 1957 state champion football team. While in school, he participated in theater, ski club, and other school functions. He started a band with the Cooper brothers called The Black and Whites. They played for dances and other venues.

Mike worked in hay fields, gas stations, Barclay’s Logging, and Phil Dahl’s mill in Sisters. After graduation, he went to Hollywood to become an actor. He was there several months and was unable to obtain an agent to break into movies, so he came back to Sisters. Mike loved to fish and hunt, went scuba diving and collected arrowheads (when it was a legal activity). Mike served two years in the Army in Berlin at the height of the Cold War.

Mike started work in the construction business, making roads at one time. His family and he spent time in Bakersfield, California, and Lewiston, Idaho, before returning to Bend. Mike began work later as a security guard in Warm Springs at the Kah-Nee-Ta resort before retiring. He moved to Clarkston, Washington for a few years before returning to Sisters to live with his mother, Naomi. He later moved near his children in Vancouver.

Mike’s parents and brother Cecil preceded him in death. He is survived by his two children, Valerie of Battleground, Washington and Michael of Vancouver, Washington; his brother Jeffrey of Bend, sister Jan Kroeker of Bend, sister Laurie Wright of Sisters and sister Sunny Phillips of Oregon City.


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