Lawrence Abner Smith Sr.

January 16, 1921June 9, 2018
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Lawrence Abner Smith, Sr. was born on January 16, 1921 to Abner Dee Smith and Laura L. Smith in New Mexico. He married the love of his life, Judith Evellynn Roberson, on December 22, 1942. They were married 75 years, until she preceded him in death on February 25, 2018. Together, they had 9 children, 27 grandchildren, 27 great grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren.

From humble origins as an open range cowboy on a cattle and sheep ranch, Lawrence pursued his education through Ft. Sumner schools and New Mexico State University, served in the U.S. Navy and ended a 39 year career with McDonnell Douglas Corporation as Vice President, Aircraft Engineering MCAIR division.

Lawrence had a storied career with McDonnell Douglas. Of the many programs he supported, he felt his leadership in engineering the wing design of the F-4 Phantom II and his critical guidance as engineering director in the design, development and production of the AV-8B Harrier for the U.S. Marines were his greatest accomplishments. He was an AIAA Associate Fellow and received the AIAA Aircraft Design Award, AIAA Technical Management Award, Paul E. Hauefer Memorial Award for Aircraft Engineering, New Mexico State University Centennial Distinguished Alumni, and was inducted into the 1994/1995 class of Who’s Who of Science and Engineering.

Lawrence was proceed in death by his parents; wife; sister, Virginia Bessom; daughter, Rena Susan Watts; and grandson, Gregory Daniel Smith. Lawrence is survived by sons Lawrence A. Smith, Jr. and wife Mary; Ronald E. Smith and wife Sheilah; Samuel L. Smith and wife Janet; Kenneth D. Smith; David F. Smith and wife Crystal; Daniel F. Smith and wife Susan; Randall L. Smith and wife Marsha; and daughter, Laura Ann Karmi and husband Robert.

A visitation for Lawrence will be held Saturday, June 16, 2018 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM at Alexander - White - Mullen Funeral Home, 11101 Saint Charles Rock Road, St. Ann, MO 63074 followed by a graveside service at 1 p.m. at Mt. Lebanon Cemetery, 11101 St Charles Rock Rd., St. Ann, MO 63074.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Smith family and memorials may be made to the New Mexico State University School of Engineering.


  • New Mexico State University School of Engineering


  • Visitation Saturday, June 16, 2018
  • Graveside Service Saturday, June 16, 2018

Lawrence Abner Smith Sr.

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Janet Brown-Wise

June 19, 2018

Dad (Frank Brown) always called Larry and Judith "the love birds" when they would take a walk on Banks Road hand in hand. My condolences to all the kids. Janet Brown

Laura Karmi

June 18, 2018

My all time favorite memory of Mom and Dad is each evening Mom would be cooking dinner at the stove. Dad would arrive home in his business suit and polished shoes through the garage door. Mom would continue cooking
at the stove while he would give her a big hug from behind and a kiss on her cheek. He would click his heels as he put away all his coins, pencils, pens and pipe in his desk. Not much was spoken but the routine was one of love.
Another memory of Dad was the nights before big meetings. I would find him alone in the family room with papers spread out everywhere. Dad would be pacing back and forth with his pipe rehearsing his presentations. When he paced, he would wave his pipe and click his heels when he got it just right. At times he would twirl some hair on the sides of his head and it would remain sticking out while he practiced what he wanted to say. Some nights his hair got really crazy.

Debra Shobe

June 14, 2018

Lawerence Smith was such a friendly and highly intelligent man. He enjoyed listening and talking about airplanes! When he was in deep thought about a question, the pipe would come out and he would think for the longest time to answer you! I met a few years ago a worker at McDonnell Douglas and he knew and liked Mr. Smith. Everyone got really quite around him and then he would but them at ease with a slight joke.

Lee Mikel

June 14, 2018

Lee Mikel

June 14, 2018

Lee Mikel

June 14, 2018

Marsha and Randy Smith

June 12, 2018

Randy and Marsha wedding~January 27, 1990.


Mom and Dad's Wedding Picture 1942


Mom and Dad's 50th Wedding Anniversery