November 14, 1949 - December 12, 2020
On November 14, 1949, Lewis T Smith was born to Claude Harvey and Anna Mae Smith. Their fourth child and first-born son, he was born at home, in a house at the top of a hill just two miles outside of Campbell, MO. Claude Smith had purchased 6 acres of land before he married his wife, and there they raised their five children: Claudia Ann, Elizabeth Kay, Alma Lee, Lewis T, and Robert Dale. Lewis grew up picking cotton and peaches, and various other crops – and his children never saw him eat a peach, watermelon, or cantaloupe. Apparently, every melon ruined was one he had to eat and he had more than enough of them growing up. Sadly, Anna Mae passed away on July 17, 1958. Claude remarried Betty Laverne Whorton on November 26, 1966. This marriage gave Lewis more sisters and brothers: John, Ronnie, Laverne, Betty Ann, Bill, and Donnie Downs. Lewis graduated from Campbell High School in 1967. He briefly moved north to Illinois to live with his sister Claudia and her husband while he worked on the railroad. Soon after, he joined the United States Air Force and served his country for 20 years. He retired on January 1, 1989, as a Master Sergeant. He had a reputation for exceptional service and dedication, and was widely respected by his fellow service members. Upon retirement from the military he moved his family closer to home, to the town next to the first base he was stationed at as a married man. The central focus of Lewis’ life was family. He sacrificed everything for them, worked jobs he disliked to support them, and was always there whenever he was needed. A devoted father and husband, Lewis married his wife Linda Ann Billington on May 26, 1973, in Poplar Bluff, MO. He was a wonderful father to his four children: Mary Kathleen (Katie) Hire, Anna Lee Smith, Pauline Elizabeth (Beth) Smith, and Scott Atlee Smith. He welcomed a new son to the family when Katie married Thomas Edward (Tom) Hire. Katie and Tom blessed him with four amazing kids: Lauren Alicia, Zachary Brandon, Marissa Nicole, and Brookelyn Claire. Beth also blessed him with two grandchildren that he was deeply involved in raising: Lakota Faith (Codie) and Christopher Austin Eldridge. Lewis was proud of his children, and even more proud of his grandchildren. Nothing made him happier than having his family near him. Linda was the love of his life, and he devoted himself to her. His daughter Katie followed in his footsteps and joined the Air Force when she was eighteen, and then was stationed at the last base he himself had served at: Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana. After his retirement, Lewis worked for Price Chopper until the store closed in Blytheville. Afterwards he worked at Tenaris-Hickman Corporation until December 31, 2014, when he retired for good. He remained active taking care of his wife, visiting his sisters and brothers-in-law Vernon Baker (Elizabeth Kaye) and Ronald Smith (Alma Lee). He loved attending the Smith/Ricks family reunions, frequently hosted by his brother Robert and his wife, Hazel; and the Whorton family reunion held in Campbell, MO, every summer. Lewis dreamed of being an auto mechanic when he was young. His career took a different path, but his love of cars never faded. He loved tinkering with his hobby cars, and his family relied on him to keep their own vehicles running. First by working on them, and then by coming to him for advice. He hated those phone calls that started off with, “Dad, my car’s doing…” If he couldn’t see the car, how could he fix it? But he always did his best to diagnose the problem over the phone. He accumulated an extensive collection of model cars and motorcycles that are displayed in his home. He was an avid reader throughout his entire life. Lewis was not known for being chatty. He rarely talked on the phone, preferring to hand it over quickly to his wife. Lewis was far more intelligent, insightful, and empathetic than one would think on brief acquaintance. He never stopped learning, and after his retirement spent a great deal of time learning genealogy and tracing his family tree. He liked to visit cemeteries within driving distance of his home and finding the gravesites of his family. He worked in the St. Joseph’s Soup Kitchen with his wife in Blytheville, AR. He and Linda also helped in preparing and serving funeral dinners for members of his church community. Lewis spent a life in service, in the military and with his community. After his kids were grown and gone, it was rare to have the whole family together. The last time was at his 60th birthday party in 2009, where all of his children and grandchildren were in attendance, as well as his sisters and brothers, and their children. Sadly, his granddaughter Codie passed away two years later on March 16, 2011 and his brother Robert Dale passed away on June 14, 2015. Lewis was also preceded in death by his parents, Claude Harvey and Anna Mae Smith (Hicks); his brother Robert Smith and Bill Downs; his brother-in-law Robert Anthony Billington; his niece Amelia Baker (Stafford); and his in-laws Harry Atlee and Mary Billington (Koehler). He is survived by his loving wife, Linda Ann Smith (Billington); his children Katie Hire and husband Tom, Anna Lee Smith, Pauline Elizabeth Smith, and Scott Atlee Smith; his grandchildren Lauren Alicia, Zachary Brandon, Marissa Nicole, Brookelyn Claire, and Christopher Austin; his sisters and brothers Claudia Ann Benson, Elizabeth Kaye Baker and husband Vernon, Alma Lee Smith and husband Ronald, John Downs and wife Connie, Ronnie Downs and wife Robin, Donnie Downs, Laverne Jones and husband Gil, and Betty Ann Speer; his in-laws Kathy Clubb and husband Rick, Deborah Rayburn and husband Jimmy, Skip Billington and wife Donna, Eric Billington, and Rebecca Deering. He is also survived by his many nieces and nephews. Visitation will be held at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Blytheville, AR, on Wednesday, December 16, 2020 at 11:00am. A funeral mass will follow at 12:00pm. His ashes will be interred at Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery in Poplar Bluff, MO, following the funeral mass. Tri-City LLC Crematory Funeral Home is honored and privileged to serve the Smith family. Online condolences may be expressed at www.Tri-CityLLC.com .
On November 14, 1949, Lewis T Smith was born to Claude Harvey and Anna Mae Smith. Their fourth child and first-born son, he was born at home, in a house at the top of a hill just two miles outside of Campbell, MO. Claude Smith had purchased... View Obituary & Service Information
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