Walter Richard (Dick) Smith, of Lee’s Summit, MO, passed away on Friday, June 23, 2023, at the age of 92. He passed peacefully, surrounded by family at his side.
Dick was born on September 20, 1930, in Sedalia, MO, to Walter Ira Smith and Daisy Frances (Richards) Smith. He is preceded in death by his parents, brother, Kenneth, and his firstborn son, Timothy.
He leaves behind his beloved wife of over 71 years, Cathy; their sons: Stephen; his wife, Debra; and Roger; 4 grandchildren: Stephanie; her husband, Sirish; Hanna, Benjamin, and Henry; and 1 great granddaughter, Scarlett.
Dick graduated from Smith Cotton High School, and as a young man learned to work hard and appreciate the importance of family. In the fall of 1949, he met the love of his life, Catherine L. Brown, and they married October 6, 1951. They shared a love affair for 74 years.
Two weeks after the wedding, he received his invitation to serve our country, and five weeks after that left for Navy bootcamp. He served from 1951 to 1954 in Korea and Guam as a Seabee. He then returned and continued working for Southwestern Bell, first as a lineman, then became a splicer, and then moved into management as a Safety and Quality supervisor. The family moved from Sedalia to Lee’s Summit in 1967. After 40 years with the phone company, he retired and went on to drive for John Knox Village to keep busy. He enjoyed and valued his time with family, dancing with Cathy, domestic and international travel, camping coast to coast with the family when their sons were young – and later traveling with the grandchildren on spring breaks to the beaches of Florida, Big Cedar Lodge in Branson, and Walt Disney World. Fishing was a favorite pastime, in Canada, at the Lake of the Ozarks, and Lake Taneycomo.
A patriarch of the family, a good friend, a man who would give his shirt to a friend or a stranger. A good father that did his best to teach and guide his sons, a loving grandfather and great grandfather who found it difficult to tell the grandkids no. His true joy was being a husband to Cathy, who he adored, cherished, and loved with all of his being.
The family wants to acknowledge the excellent care he received at Silverado in Lee’s Summit by a most compassionate and caring staff. We could not be more grateful. The nurses and staff from Ascend Hospice will also always hold a very special place in our hearts.
In celebration of his life, donations made to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society are greatly appreciated. Please visit https://www.nmcrs.org/ to contribute.