M. Gerald "Smitty" Smith
July 11, 1925 – February 20, 2021
Morris Gerald Smith was known as Gerald growing up, but was usually called Smitty, Coach Smith, or just G in later years. He was born in rural Navarro County, Texas on July 11, 1925 and passed away February 20, 2021 at the age of 95.
He was one of nine siblings who were raised on a farm during the Great Depression. After World War II he moved to Houston and married Nancy Smither in 1946. He remained by her side for 74 faithful years.
Coming from humble means, he went on to work 42 years for General Motors, 27 of which were as Parts Manager at Courtesy Chevrolet car dealership. Early in his career he worked for a Buick dealership, owned an auto parts store, and worked in the warehouse of Sears & Roebuck.
After World War II, he and Nancy bought a house in a new subdivision on the edge of town near Silber Road, a neighborhood known as Westview Terrace. They lived there for the next 70 years and knew many people in Spring Branch. He volunteered to help the local civic association, taking care of the esplanades and roadsides.
Gerald loved sports and played basketball and ran track in high school. He loved investing in the next generation, and coached 11- and 12-year-old boys for Spring Branch Memorial Sports Association for 39 years, mostly in baseball but also in football and soccer. He sometimes coached the sons of his former players and felt it valuable to pass along an ethic of fair play and hard work.
He and Nancy built a weekend home near Riverside, Texas after their kids left for college. They spent many weekends there relaxing, fishing, and hosting family get-togethers.
After retirement he remained very active. He bowled a couple of times per week, played bridge three times per week and gained 575 master points in tournament bridge. After retirement he kept a vegetable garden at Freed Park for 30 years, and would give away boxes of fresh vegetables to local food banks and homeless shelters. In 2014, at 89, Gerald was named Gardener of the Year by the City of Houston Parks and Recreation Department.
He was preceded in death by his parents, William Walter Smith and Mattie Gay Jackson, and his six brothers and two sisters. He is survived by his daughter Karon Smith Mueller, son-in-law Paul Mueller, son Glenn Smith and daughter-in-law Jeanie Lopez Smith. He is also survived by grandchildren Kevin Smith (and Jennifer), Melissa Borders (and Chris), Michael Smith, Will Mueller, Dan Mueller, and Ben Mueller, and great-grandchildren Miles Smith, Levi Smith, and Evie Borders. He will be missed by a host of others.
He will be buried at Memorial Oaks Cemetery in Houston, Texas. For those wishing to honor Gerald's memory, the family suggests donations to the Mission of Yahweh homeless shelter where Gerald often contributed food he had raised in his garden.
M. Gerald "Smitty" Smith
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February 25, 2021
As far back as I can remember Uncle Gee and Aunt Nan have been around. When we were little kids they used to come over to our house on Christmas Eve. Uncle Gee would take Sandy and I to look at Christmas lights. When we would get back home Santa Claus would have come. He used to call Sandy and I jailbait when we were teenagers - of course at that time we didn’t know what that meant. But he always teased us. Such a special man! I know I will miss him and his teasing! ❤️
February 24, 2021
I'm a friend of Karon Mueller's from college and would visit her in Houston where her parents were always very nice to me. One time they took me to the Houston Rodeo and we saw Mac Davis. I'm from Dallas but I'd never seen a Rodeo that big! I remember another time we went to a reception with her parents. Her father was across the room visiting with someone who had close ties to the Astros. Every time I looked over Mr. Smith was laughing so hard that his whole body was shaking! Those are some great memories.
February 23, 2021
Glenn and Karon,
I am so sorry for the loss of your father. This is a lovely obituary of a life well lived. I will keep your family in my prayers.
February 22, 2021
Beautifully written for such a sweet man. He will be dearly missed by his beautiful family and so many more. Much love to all the Smiths. What an amazing life he led, and what a legacy he leaves.