FORT SMITH (KFSM)—A memorial service was held Tuesday (Oct. 25) for a long time city leader. Ray Gosack served the city of Fort Smith for more than 15 years before retiring as city administrator in August 2015.
“Ray deeply loved the lord, and we believe he's alive more now than ever before in heaven,” said Don Hutchings, pastor and city director.
Memorial services took place at Grace Community Church. Gosack planned his service and asked Hutchings and Mayor Sandy Sanders to speak at his funeral.
“I was very honored that he called and asked me to be part of the service, and it was a great service recognizing his own service to the community and to many people,” Mayor Sanders said.
“Ray called me from UAMS in Little Rock and said here's what I want you to say at my memorial service, and I couldn't believe it,” Hutchings said.
News that 58-year-old Gosack had cancer came as a shock to just about everyone.
“I wish I would've had a chance to visit him and say goodbye to him,” Bob Yoes said, “but he'll be long remembered as someone who really helped advance Fort Smith.”
Cheryl Garner knew Gosack since they were kids. The last time she saw him was their 40th high school reunion this past summer.
“It's hard to believe that he's not with us today because that was such a wonderful time,” she said.
Hutchings spent some of Gosack’s final days with him talking about his accomplishments.
“He didn't want any accolades,” Hutchings said. “I said we're going to name streets after you, and I offended him. I can't believe this humble spirit that he has.”
Gosack was so involved in every detail of his memorial service, he even had a barbecue lunch waiting for everyone afterwards.