Farm Animals 16


Richard Eugene Smith

May 18, 1937 ~ March 29, 2018 (age 80)
Obituary Image

Richard Eugene Smith was born on May 18, 1937 at the old hospital across from Gardner’s.  At 2 months old he couldn’t hold any food down and the doctors had to make his stomach larger.  As Richard would say, “Maybe they made it too large.”  From the age of 3 years old, and throughout this childhood, his favorite animals were chickens, lambs and cats.  Throughout his life, Richard loved all animals, especially cattle, horses and dogs.  As Richard started school he went to the South Valley School District.  Some of his favorite teachers were Colleen Myers-Anderson, Margie Lance Murphy and Gwynetha Richardson.  When he was in junior high he joined the Yuma United Methodist Church.  Members that joined with him were Gene Briscoe, Bob Moran, and Dorothy Chandler.  During this era, he was in Edna Powell’s orientation group and they did a lot of square dancing and plays.  His favorite dance partner was Carol Robertson.  During WWII, his father, Robert Smith, couldn’t make it raising wheat so he asked his great uncle Oliver Leedy to come to Yuma all summer and they started raising sheep.  During these summers, Richard’s job was to herd the sheep up and down the ditch line.  To help, Richard’s father bought a couple sheep dogs from Wyoming.  They became some of Richard’s favorite companions, as well as his Shetland pony Queeny.     

During high school, Richard was active in FFA, 4-H and went to the state fair.  He loved participating on the 4-H judging team with Jim Harper and Roy Smith, where he got 3rd in a National Dairy judging contest.  One of his more recent past times was to make it a judging competition when he received the Hoard’s Dairyman magazine with his brother Roy and grandsons.  Richard was a player on the 1953 State Champs Football team.  After graduating from high school in 1955 he went on to A.I school where he worked for a short time with Vern Haruf at Bradberry-Land-and-Cattle.  But Richard’s love was always the dairy farm he grew up on and had such a devout loyalty to his family he returned shortly.  As a young adult, the family starting irrigation and raising a lot of irrigated crops, including beans, corn and alfalfa.  Some of his favorite people that helped included Dave Mitchell, Cleo Moser and Delbert Gilland. 

Throughout his life, Richard was an active member of the Yuma community.  He was a member of the Yuma United Methodist church for over 60 years. He served on the Equity CO-OP, WRAC and Schramm Feedlot boards. 

Richard’s past times included harvesting- getting done just in time to go watch his children’s many school activities, traveling, watching his grandchildren, coyote hunting, daily bible devotion, and, of course, reading the Yuma Pioneer on Wednesdays.  He was always telling jokes to friends, family and strangers that hadn’t yet become friends.  He always told grand stories of how when he was younger he would hunt with his father, Merel Noble, Tub Gibikee, Curly Gutula and Francis Rogers.  Although, at a young age Richard had an incident with a shot gun, having an accidental misfire, he was able to hunt coyotes without the need of a gun using hounds.  Later in life he hunted with Duane and Denny Eastin and friends Rick Baxter and Jim Roark.

He enjoyed row crop farming, dairy and working with livestock.    

Richard met the love of his life, Barbara Jean McCloud in 1967 and they married in August of 1968.  He loved telling the story of how, and where, he met Barb just to embarrass her.  After marriage, they ultimately settled on James and Fern Smith’s ground South of the Baseline.  In 1976, he and Barb built the house in which they still live.  To their union were Jim, John, Esther and Robert. 

Richard was a Master Dairyman, taking over the family farm with his brother Roy.  He starting milking cows in 1951, his freshman year of high school, and continued until his retirement.  One of his fondest memories was in the morning milking at the old barn alongside his father, while listening to Joe Harper disc jockey at the radio station.  In 1992, Smith dairy expanded by building a new barn South of town on highway 59.  The dairy was his pride and joy. 

Richard was a grand story-teller, prankster, and amazing friend and father.  You would see him around town in his pickup nicknamed ‘brownie’ because of its one brown door, or sharing a cup of coffee at Mary’s, or as out-of-towners would call it The Beacon.  He had an infectious smile and laugh that could be heard before he came in the door. 

After retirement, Richard’s love of farming became a devotion to flowers around the farm.  He would frequently ask Doralee Sauer her expert advice while they took CSU extension classes.  He grew Hydrangeas, wild flowers, and a large garden, but the sandy Colorado soil gave him trouble growing his favorite flower, the rose. 

Richard’s friends and neighbors could always expect a phone call getting their advice on this or that.  He had a lengthy morning phone call list- where he always talked to people about the community and his devotion to God.   He could tell stories for days, talking about some silly situation he had gotten himself into or a prank he had pulled on one of his lifelong friends.  His dedication to family was demonstrated by being surrounded by his loved ones upon passing.

Richard is preceded in death by his parents Robert Conrad and Esther Clara (Schwarz) Smith, Robert’s siblings Catherine, Margaret, step-siblings Anna, Patrick, Jim (Fern); Esther’s sibling Benjamin (Wanda); his youngest brother Elmo Ray, and sister-in-law Sherrilu Hagan Smith. 

Richard is survived by his loving wife Barbara, brothers Ralph (Janet) and Roy Smith, his children Jim (Mel) Smith, John (Beth Ann) Smith, Esther (Rick) Smith-Baxter, Robert (Drew) Smith-Helmus, grandchildren Xavier and John Smith, nieces, nephews and many, many friends. 

As Richard would say, “ I love you, See ya in Heaven”  

A funeral service will be held April 6, 2018 at 10:00 A.M. at the United Methodist Church in Yuma, Colorado.  Interment will follow the service at the Yuma Cemetery in Yuma, Colorado.  Pastor Jamie Nieves officiated the service and Baucke Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements. 

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