Earl Lee Smith, son of Edgar B. Smith and Verdie (Parmenter) Smith, was born Dec. 5 or 6, 1938, in Solo, Mo. At the age of 81, he went home to be with Jesus. Many times, in these last few months, he has said, “I refuse to live in fear” and thus he lived life.
He was united in marriage to Maggie Brannam on Jan. 2, 1959, and to this union three children were born, Brenda (Smith) Barton, James Smith and Earl Ray Smith. They celebrated 61 years of life together; sharing love of gardening, canning, church and family.
Earl started working as a “grease monkey” while still in high school at Brown’s Chevrolet in Houston. Smitty, as most of his friends called him, worked as a paid mechanic for many years at Honeycutt’s, Romines Motor Co., Coats Ford, Simpson’s and Jerry’s Service Center, but also logged many volunteer hours working on friends, family and church vehicles.
Earl accepted Christ as his personal Savior at an early age, serving many faithful years at Brown Hill Baptist Church and Ozark Baptist Church. Recently, he and Maggie had joined New Beginnings Baptist Church and began serving there. He and Earl Ray ran a food delivery route this summer, delivering food boxes to families in the community. He especially loved the church fellowships and was excited to be serving and learning again. Earl did not believe that you got to retire from God’s service until He called you home.
Preceding him in death were his parents, Edgar and Verdie Smith; his brother, Ray Smith; and sister, Dessie Beasley. Earl is survived by his wife, Maggie, of the home; daughter, Brenda (Scott) Barton of Houston; sons, James Smith of Houston, and Earl Ray (Lisa) Smith of Houston.
Also surviving are sister-in-law, Marie Stark of Houston; his sisters, Edna Roberts of Solo; Fern Burch of Kansas City, Mo., brother-in-law, Jim (Joan) Brannam of Success, Mo., and sister-in-law, Ruby Smith of Houston, especially close family friends, Bill and Edna Beasley of Houston, and many nieces and nephews.
Earl especially enjoyed family get togethers, attending school functions to support grandkids, seeing pictures and hearing about the latest adventures of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Continuing his legacy are eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Grandchildren are Jennifer (Barton) and Tim Martin of Bolivar, Mo., Sarah (Barton) and Trevor Sudheimer of Houston, Mo., Jamie Barton of Des Moines, Iowa, and Bailey (Barton) and Adrian Vivero of Springfield, Mo., Lance Smith and Ebin Smith, and mother, Erin Smith of Houston, Mo., Raymond Smith of Seattle, Wash., and Mikayla (Smith) and Fred Robinson of Fort Sill, Okla. Great-grandchildren are Penny, Abby and Hank Martin, Amelia Vivero and Jayden Robinson.
Memorials are suggested to Ozark Cemetery. Online condolences can be made at www.evansfh.com.
Viewing is 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, at Evans Funeral Home, Houston. A celebration of his life will be 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020, at New Beginnings Baptist Church with Bill Jetton officiating. Burial is in Ozark Cemetery under the direction of Evans Funeral Home. Pallbearers are James Smith, Earl Smith, Lance Smith, Ebin Smith, Kevin Stark and Mike Beasley. Honorary pallbearer is Bill Beasley.