Churchel Leo Smith was the second born son of nine brothers and sisters to Clyde Smith and Beulah Viola Maggard. He was born March 27, 1932 in Cedar Grove, Mo. He graduated from Houston High School.
In his early 20s, Churchel (better known as Smitty) moved to La Grande, Oregon, where he met his wife, Janice Kay Smith. They were married May 19, 1958, in Weiser, Idaho. They lived most of their married life in Carver, Ore.; Vancouver, Wash.; and, most recently, in Battle Ground, Wash. They celebrated 61 years of marriage on their last anniversary. They were best friends and were inseparable during the last 20 years of their marriage, spending the winter months, for over 20 years, in Apache Junction, Ariz., where they developed friendships from all over the United States.
Smitty was a “Ford” man and started his mechanic career working at the gas station owned by his father in Raymondville, Mo. In 1965, he was hired by Northwest Pipeline Corporation as an engine mechanic and transferred to Carver, Ore. In 1975, he transferred to Battle Ground, Wash., and retired from The Williams Companies Inc., owner of Northwest Pipeline Corp., in 1991.
Churchel was preceded in death by his wife, Janice; daughter, Jonna Lynn Smith; parents, Clyde and Beulah Smith; brother, Troy Smith; and sisters, Arlene Lightbody and Shirley Hafner.
He is survived by his daughter, Julie Murray; son, Randall Smith; son-in-law, Kevin Murray; five grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren; brothers, Hershel, Roy and Eddie Smith; and sisters, Sue Whitney and Aleene Hayes.
Graveside services were July 30, 2020, at Evergreen Memorial Gardens, Vancouver, Wash. Pastor Larry Rounsley officiated.