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Hixson-Sulphur Memorial Funeral Home

2051 East Napoleon Street, Sulphur, LA

OBITUARY

Omer "Neil" Smith

February 2, 1953May 3, 2020
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On May 3, 2020, following a brave 6-year battle with complications from a brain aneurysm, Omer “Neil” Smith, left this world to enjoy peace and comfort in the arms of Jesus Christ, his Savior.

Neil was born on February 2, 1953, in Lake Charles, LA, to Omer B. and Loretta (Richard) Smith. He grew up in the place he called God’s Country, Grand Chenier, LA, where he enjoyed his greatest passions—hunting, fishing and alligator trapping in the marshes he loved.

He attended school at Grand Chenier Elementary and South Cameron High School, where he was an Honor Student and excelled in all sports, including being named State Champion in Wrestling. He went on to attend McNeese State University on a football scholarship and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Human Performance. Neil worked for the Lake Charles Fire Department and offshore before finding his niche working for Shell Oil Company. He continued working in the oil field and water treatment business for GE and GE Water until his retirement in 2013.

Neil was blessed with a brilliant mind and strong back. There was nothing he felt he could not do, and he was correct. To quote Neil whenever he had a challenge, he would say, “I’m Neil Smith—I can do it.” He was an avid reader of non-fiction and enjoyed learning and teaching others about history, geography, nature, science and horticulture. Nothing made him happier than to pass on knowledge and help to make someone more informed, more skilled and a wiser person. He was compassionate for those who had less than he and was extremely generous.

After living in Sulphur for several years, Neil moved to Carlyss to the home of his dreams with acreage and a fishpond! Neil set aside his usual weekend fishing trips to create his version of “Grand Chenier” planting fruit trees, cypress trees, live oaks, flowering bushes, and added ducks, geese and he even rescued several dogs over the years to make his paradise complete.

Neil enjoyed joking and teasing; he had a great sense of humor. He never met a stranger and could captivate a crowd with his “joie de vivre.” He loved to dance and was light on his feet and the party started when he arrived.

Neil is survived by his loving wife of 33 years, Kathleen (Guidry), his parents, his son Josh and wife, Treasure and grandchildren Eli and Mia; his daughter Jessica (Beddoe) and husband Chris and grandsons Brooks, Briggs and Brody.

His wife wishes to thank Neil’s caregivers, Judy Melancon, a true, loyal and long-time friend and Ducky Courmier, a Faith filled and loyal friend. With their help, it was possible for Neil to reside at home the last 4 months of his life and their presence helped her navigate through the tough times.

Others who deserve special thanks for helping in so many ways: Kristi, Charlie and Chas Sanner, Travis Stanford, Jennie Ballard and many friends who brought over food, kept in contact and prayed for us. Also, thanks to her Calcasieu Federation of Teachers family, who made it possible for her to work odd hours and take time off whenever Neil needed her.

A special thanks to Father Andrews Kollannoor, pastor of Our Lady of LaSalette in Sulphur, who visited and prayed daily for Neil and family. Truly Neil and Kathy were blessed beyond measure by the outpouring of love.

In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made in Neil’s name to Our Lady of LaSalette Church in Sulphur.

Visitation and service will be private under the direction of Hixson-Sulphur Memorial.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.hixsonsulphurmemorial.com for the Smith family.

  • FAMILY

  • Kathleen, Loving Wife of 33 years
  • Omer B. and Loretta Smith, Parents
  • Josh and wife Treasure, Son
  • Eli and Mia, Grandchildren
  • Jessica and husband Chris, Daughter
  • Brooks, Briggs, and Brody, Grandsons

Learn more about the Smith name

  • DONATIONS

  • Our Lady of Lasalette Catholic Church

Memories

Omer "Neil" Smith

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Mark Theriot

May 11, 2020

I ran into Omer Neil occasionally during his days of going back to Grand Chenier while he was on his hunting and fishing adventures. He certainly was a strong willed guy and was good at what he put his mind to do. There are lots of great athelete's that came out of Grand Chenier and South Cameron High, and he certainly ranks as one of the best in my eyes. I only met his wife a couple of times and they where always having a good time on the dance floor. Kathleen, may you, your family, and all his family find peace and comfort in knowing that he is in God's Kingdom. RIP Omer Neil.

Martha RicHard

May 8, 2020

Our Deepest Sympathy to Mr. & Mrs .Omer B. Smith & All Family of Omer Neil. MAY our Lord & Savior give each of you the Strength to face the days ahead. You all are in our Prayers. God Bless All of you in this time of grief. Prayers to all of you. Tommy & Martha H. Richard

Owen Pickett

May 7, 2020

Pat and I are so sad to read of Neil’s passing. Neil was such a joy to be around. I will always remember our fun times at the McNeese games .I’m glad I had the opportunity to know him! Red Pickett.
I shared the sad news of his passing with Katie...she hadn’t known he was ill.
She has fond memories of our fun visits at the McNeese football games .
I remember Neil and Red tracking down the cigar smoker...so funny!
Love you, Kathy!
Pat

Jack Blacketter

May 7, 2020

My earliest memory of Omer Neil was his first two-a -days at McNeese. I was a veteran player and he a wild-eyed freshman trying to do all the right things to be accepted as a teammate. The first time we had tackling drills in full pads, he drew the wrong straw and got me. Now I was pretty well known for putting a pretty good lick on people and I proceeded to put one on him, just to give him a taste of things to come. To his credit, he popped right up, but he had that “Holy Smoke” look in his eye. “Welcome to college football, Rookie”. He soon became a pretty good hitter himself and soon earned his place as a McNeese Cowboy. I’ll miss you, Omer, but we shall meet again ! My prayers are with you and your family.

Stephen Lyons

May 6, 2020

Kathy and Family-Please know the entire Lyons Family'sthoughts and prayers are with you during this time. Neal was his own man. He loved to "one Up" you so to speak. I remember the first time we met some 15 yrs ago as back door neighbors it was not the most comfortable for either of us. He was taking his usual walk with his beloved "Chessies" which are by the way a little territorial, thank goodness I knew this. I was out with a couple of my competition level "labradors". Needless to say, they do not mix! That was just perfect with Neal. As time went own we grew to be very good friends. He loved to share his knowledge if you were interested in that subject, which was usually something to do with trees , water, or , ponds which we shared a common interest. May God be with you.
Stephen & Kathy, Megan, and Emily Lyons

Nadine Richard

May 6, 2020

I am so sorry for your loss. We all grew up on Helen Street, great memories of Omer Neil as I remember him, I will be praying for all. Love You Ms Loretta & Mr. Omer

Steve LaFleur

May 5, 2020

Farewell, old friend. We had some great times in the marshes of South Louisiana so long ago - till we meet again.

Leann Stewart

May 5, 2020

Sending my deepest sympathy to Neil’s family. I think back about all the years of growing up around Neil and his family. Great memories. He was a big man with a big heart. Rest easy Neil. Love you ♥️

Bill Glasspool

May 5, 2020

My friend your pain is gone. A faithful and loyal companion, whether hunting or fishing, or just in conversation.
Each outing with Neil was an experience. Never shirked his duty an always carried his weight. Never forget our canoe trips on the Sabine, the stories we shared and the fish we caught.
The love he had for his wife, Kathleen. The apple of his eye.

Margaret Savoie Sonnier

May 5, 2020

I took a moment today to think of Neil and to thank God for memories. Because our last name started with S, we had to sit next to each other in class. I have been blessed by our friendship.
I will be praying for the family.
Classmate and friend
Margaret Savoie Sonnier

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