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Richard "Dick" Smith

1938 - 2014 Obituary Condolences Flowers
Richard "Dick" Smith Obituary

Richard "Dick" Allan Smith, 76, of Mackay, Idaho, passed away Thursday, March 6, 2014, at his home.

He was born in Detroit on Jan. 21, 1938, the firstborn son of Howard Lee and Miriam (Ward) Smith. His sister, Joan Lee, was born two years later, and a brother, Larry Lynn, arrived four years after that. The family was then complete and they enjoyed wonderful years growing up in what was then "out in the country" of Farmington, Mich., raising horses, baling hay and having great fun.

Dick attended Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Mich., graduating in 1959 with a BA. He was a member of Kappa Sigma Kappa fraternity there.

As a young man, Dick, along with his brother, Larry, raced Dodge Funny Cars. As the driver, Dick was incredibly successful and nationally known for both his GT Dart and the famous "Firebrewed" altered-wheelbase Dodge. Featured in many national magazines, it was famously said, "Where There's Smoke, There's Smith!" Dick was critically injured in a racing accident in 1967, ending his racing career. Blood transfusions given to save his life at that time, ironically, also resulted in the disease that ultimately led to his death.

At this same time, Dick also worked for General Motors as a supervisor for Chevy Gear and Axle before tiring of city life and heading west.

Dick fell in love with the beautiful mountains of Mackay, Idaho, and purchased land outside of town in 1983. There he began farming and established the Lost River Trout Hatchery, providing fish and eggs to states in the U.S. and around the world. He was a leader in the industry and admired for his hard work, high ethical standards and dedication to the business. He simultaneously established a flourishing hay and barley business.

An early marriage to Judy Moore produced a son, Ricky, deceased.

Later in life he married, and later divorced, Patricia Fox, also of Michigan, now of Idaho, lovingly helping to raise her three children: James, Mary and Michael.

His last years were made very happy by his close relationship with Debbie Hanks. He said her presence in his life brought the most "peace, support and understanding" he had even known. Her daughter, Macy, brought him great joy.

Dick loved to hunt elk and pheasant. He enjoyed riding snow machines with friends and family, and treasured times he spent working with friends. He was known as an excellent farmer, a mentor to many, always willing to lend a hand, give advice or share his knowledge. He was generous with his time and generous giving of himself.

He is survived by a sister, Joan (Larry) Cotsonika; a brother, Larry (Corky LaBenz) Smith; nephews, Kevin, Matthew, Nick and Mike; and a niece, Cindy; and three great-nieces and great-nephews, Sofia Smith, Brooke Calvert and Alexander Smith.

He was predeceased by his parents, Howard Lee Smith and Miriam Ward Smith; aunts, Dorothy Betts and Mary Alice Ward; an uncle, Emerson "Uncle Joe" Ward; and a son, Richard Smith Jr.

Dick, you enriched our lives: We love you, we will miss you. May God hold you in His arms and give peace to your soul as He welcomes you home Visitation was held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, March 7, at Hawker Lost River Funeral Chapel. A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. today, March 8, at Mount McCaleb Cemetery in Mackay. All are welcome to attend. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 15. All are invited to attend. Condolences may be sent to the family at condolences@hawkerfuneralhome.com.

Published in Post Register on Mar. 8, 2014
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