American Veteran 04

Richard "Dick" Dean Smith

August 29, 1935 ~ January 8, 2022 (age 86)

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Richard Dean (Dick) Smith was born to John E. and Hazel G. (Scheierman) Smith in Trenton, Nebraska, August 29, 1935, and passed away at his home in Wray, Colorado, January 8, 2022.

Dick grew up in rural Nebraska before the family moved to the farm northeast of Eckley, Colorado in April 1939. He learned a strong work ethic and frugalness working side by side with his parents on the farm. As a youth he attended country school and graduated from Eckley High School in 1953.

On June 3, 1955 Dick enlisted in the United States Army achieving the rank of SP3(T). While serving in the Army, Dick was a pipeline installer, attended NCO Leadership School at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia, and was stationed overseas in Japan. He received an honorable discharge from the Army on March 10, 1958. Dick was proud of his service in the Army and formed many lifelong friendships while serving.

On April 18, 1959 he married Marleen Kay Campbell of Yuma, Colorado. To this union were born one daughter Marlea and two sons Wade and Hal. Marleen and Dick worked together in the house painting business for over 30 years, after which they “retired” to farming and ranching.

Dick had many accomplishments in life. In addition to raising three children with Marleen, he was a professional painter for over 30 years. He also, along with his sons Wade and Hal, tarred roofs during the summer. There are probably few main street roofs him and his sons hadn’t tarred at some point. Dick was a long-time member of the Wray Country Club, and served as President of the Club in 1976, when he convinced Marleen and Marlea to help run the club’s summer golf tournaments. From 1958 to 1960, he refereed high school football and basketball.

Dick loved the game of baseball. He played for many years and could recite baseball history back to the 1940’s. He also played fast-pitch softball for many years on several teams, but his favorite team was the Sandhillers.

Dick inherited his mother’s green thumb. He was an avid gardener evidenced by his bountiful harvests of sweet corn, summer squash, tomatoes, cantaloupe, and pumpkins he shared with many individuals in Wray and Yuma. Dick was a problem solver and often devised ingenious ways to organize, plant and water his gardens, for there was always more than one garden patch every summer. The summer he became ill, he had devised a plan to water his pumpkin patch with his JD 4020 tractor and an old fertilizer tank. It worked perfectly, exactly as he had planned.

Dick was preceded in death by his wife of 45 years, Marleen, in 2004, his parents John and Hazel Smith, his brother Robert Smith, and his son Hal Smith.

Survivors include his daughter Marlea Smith of Wray, son Wade (Shelly) Smith of Eckley, grandchildren Adam (Cori, Shyanne, Kaden, Korbin and Shaelin) of Kersey, Chelsea (Keith) Parker of Stephenville, TX, Chantz Smith of Eckley, John Smith of Roswell, NM, and Jacob Smith of Windsor.

Private graveside services were held Saturday, January 15, 2022, at the Eckley Cemetery in Eckley, Colorado, followed by a reception at the Eckley Community Center from 11:00 to 1:00.

Memorials are preferred and may be sent to First Pioneer National Bank, PO Box 96, Wray CO 80758.

Baucke Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

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Family Only Graveside Service
January 15, 2022

10:00 AM
Eckley Cemetery
Hwy 34 county road T5
Eckley, CO 80727

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