Olin Wray Smith,74 of Clemson died October 1 at St. Francis Hospital in Greenville, S.C. His wife of 45 years, Carol, with family and friends, were by his side.
Wray was born in Lowrys, SC (Chester County) in 1944 to Cornell and Olin Wray Smith, Sr. After losing his mother at an early age, he was enthusiastically parented by his father and four older sisters. Wray’s uncle Herbert Smith provided guidance and support into young adulthood. Having earned a B.S. from Erskine College, he completed advanced degrees including M.A. from Appalachian State University, Ed.S. from Clemson University and Ed.D. from Vanderbilt University.
Wray channeled his passion for education into a lifelong career serving students, teachers and communities in South Carolina. He taught and coached in Orangeburg and Spartanburg. He then became an assistant principal and principal at Dorman High School. From 1991-2003, he served as Superintendent of Anderson County School District 4. He was active in the political process, seeking resources that supported his students, teachers and capital improvements.
While recognized for his leadership with accolades along the way, he was most humbled by the District 4 Board of Education’s naming the district office the O. Wray Smith Building upon his retirement. Wray was an Elder in the Pendleton Presbyterian Church and served on the Bank Board of United Community Bank.
Wray was known to work hard and play hard. Especially in retirement, he could be found on a golf course, particularly the Walker at Clemson where he was a charter member. He was also passionate about travel whether the destination was a historic site, live theater, a natural wonder, an interesting class or fine dining. Special annual events included beach trips with his sisters and their families. He flew when necessary, but was most excited to climb behind the wheel to see new sites or visit old haunts in his beloved Carolinas.
Wray is survived by his wife, Carol Ballard Smith; two living sisters, Ernestine (Steve) Tyson and Patricia (Tony) Bowman; and preceded in death by parents Cornell Boulware Smith and Olin Wray Smith, Sr.; and two sisters, Sara (Guy) Darby and Marie (Lamar) Judy. He is loved and will be missed by numerous nieces and nephews.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, November 4 at 2:00pm at Pendleton Presbyterian Church. Memorials may be made to Pendleton Presbyterian Church or Erskine College in his name.