Obituary-Gerald Smith

obit-SmithGerald Smith, 79, passed away on Tuesday, May 27, at his home in Council Grove, Kan. He had struggled with COPD and cancer.

He was born Jan. 5, 1935, in Crystal Springs, Miss.

Gerald is survived by his wife Shirley, of the home. He is also survived by his daughter, Sandra Isaacson (Don), of Pagosa Springs; son Dana Smith, of Winslow, Ariz.; stepsons: Bruce McAntee of Solomon, Kan., Doug McAntee of Emporia, Kan., Jud McClanahan (Kathy) of Salina, Kan., Monte McClanahan (Shawn) of Salina, Kan., Joel McClanahan of Missoula, Mont.; grandchildren: Nicole Isaacson and Casey Isaacson; and step-grandchildren: Lauren McClanahan, Eric McAntee and Mariah McAntee. He also leaves five great-grandchildren. In addition, he is survived by his twin sister, Jean Smith Sullivan, of Wesson, Miss.; first wife, Geraldine Smith, of Winslow, Ariz.; and many nieces and nephews.

Gerald was preceded in death by his parents, Jasper Leon Smith and Ida Belle Wingate Smith; wife, JoAnn McClanahan Smith; and four brothers: Leon “June” Smith, Jr., “Pud” Smith, Sam Smith and Jimmy Smith.

Gerald left Mississippi to enlist in the United States Air Force at the age of 17. He served from 1952 to 1956. After leaving the Air Force in Gallup, N.M., he worked for the telephone company on the Navajo Indian Reservation, working on the telephone system there. In 1964, he moved to Salina, Kan., working for the REA as a field engineer and loan administrator helping rural telephone expand and update their systems. It was during this time that he helped with the expansion of the Tri County Telephone System.

After 30 years, he retired from the government job and continued to work with the rural telephone industry traveling for a company called MACC of Blair, Neb., selling telephone-related computer equipment.

In 2001, Gerald married Shirley Trimmell. The couple settled in Council Grove. Gerald loved delivering Meals on Wheels, playing golf, cooking, entertaining, traveling and regaling his many friends with stories guaranteed to bring a laugh.

Memorial services were at the First Baptist Church in Council Grove, Kan., on Saturday, May 31. Inurnment was at Walnut Grove Cemetery west of Salina.