Elmer Gene Smith
July 28, 1926 – June 26, 2020
Elmer Gene Smith was born on July 28, 1926, in Marne, IA, to Elmer Alexander Smith and Lora Merle Graham Smith, the youngest of four children. He died on June 26, 2020, in Wheat Ridge, CO.
He attended school in Lewis, IA, and graduated in 1944. He joined the Army in 1944 and was deployed to the Philippines and Japan during WWII and was honorably discharged in 1948 as a Sergeant. Gene and Janet Eileen Madden were married February 5, 1952, in Hiawatha, KS. Conni Jo was born February 1953. Gene worked as a Teamster over the road truck driver in Omaha, NE, Des Moines, IA and Westminster, CO. He began working for Montgomery Ward in 1961 and the family moved to Wray, CO. He was then transferred to Santa Fe, NM in 1970, and then to Farmington, NM in 1983. Wards closed their catalog stores in 1986 and Gene and Jan purchased Smith Tuxedo Rentals and operated that until 1999. Gene also worked for the San Juan College giving CDL tests into his 80’s. Gene and Jan served on the Community Board of the San Juan Medical Center in Farmington.
Gene was a charter member of the Elks Lodge in Westminster, CO, and in Wray, CO. He joined the Masons and was Worshipful Master in the Aztec Lodge and was member of the Farmington Lodge. He was active in Eastern Star with Jan and served as Worthy Patron numerous times. He also served as Rainbow Girls Dad for many years.
Gene and Conni took a special trip to Scotland in 1997, as Gene’s grandmother was from Edinburgh. Due to health changes, they moved to Wheat Ridge, CO, in December 2018. Gene was a talented woodworker and made much of their furniture. He made a grandfather clock for Conni from a desk he had made for his mother in shop class in high school.
Gene was preceded in death by his parents, his sisters Leola Eleanor Smith Porter and Anna Mary Smith Nelson, his brother Lee Ellsworth Smith, and niece Vicki Lea Smith. He is survived by his wife, Jan, of 68 years, daughter, Conni, of Wheat Ridge, CO, niece Sondra Nelson Stroup, nephews Robert Smith (Mary), Craig Porter, Gregory Smith (Barbara), Douglas Porter (Connie), Crandall Porter, and many great nieces and nephews.
He was a proud, quiet, honorable man of great integrity, a man of his word, quick wit, a beloved husband, and an exceptional Dad. He will be greatly missed.
The family requests no flowers. Services will be at a later date.
Memorial contributions may be made to:
The Lewis Library and Heritage Center
412 Main Street, Lewis, Iowa 51544
Elmer Gene Smith
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July 1, 2020
I was deeply saddened to hear of the loss of my dearest uncle.
He was not only a man of great wisdom, he was humble, kind and good at heart. He was considered "salt of the earth".
Several memories rush through my head of remembering the great times I spent with him.
Rest in peace my dear Uncle Gene.
June 29, 2020
Many good memories of my Uncle Gene, too many to confine to this space. Gene was such a quiet man, it always made me wonder what he was thinking....he had a good sense of humor and a great laugh (especially if you mentioned “Dorothy“)....he could build or repair anything......he was a great teacher of the value of a dollar. He was dedicated to his family and worked hard to support them. Most importantly, he had a good life, lived to a good age, and affected so many people in such a way that he’ll never be forgotten. Peacefully may he rest. God speed.