Richard Eugene Smith, 71, of Marissa, Ill., born July 27, 1944 in Rushville, Ill., passed away April 20, 2016 at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Belleville, Ill.
Richard Smith was a bulldozer operator with Peabody Coal Company at River King Mine. He retired from Peabody Coal after 34 years. He was a member of the UMWA and secretary for the UMWA Local 1148. He also was a member of the Marissa American Legion. He attained the rank of Specialist 4th Class in the United States Army. He was an amateur radio operator and member of the Marissa Amateur Radio Club. He serviced as a master hunting safety instructor for 29 years, as well as, Marissa volunteer firefighter for 40 years, serving the last 13 years as assistant chief with his sons and grandsons continuing the tradition. He was an avid fan of the St. Louis Cardinals and Kentucky Wild Cats. In his younger years, he enjoyed outdoor activities, such as, gardening, fishing, hunting, and mushroom hunting. He also enjoyed helping out with his son's Boy Scouts and sports activities.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Howard and Irma Walker of Rushville, Ill., and Cedar Maple Smith of Rushville, Ill.; his parents, Virginia Eloise Walker Smith Bryant from Rushville, Ill., and Clinton Cedar Smith of Missouri; two aunts, Wanda Jean Walker (Eugene) Acheson of Rushville, Ill., and Maurine Walker Corbridge Reeves of Rushville, Ill.; an uncle, Eldon Smith of Rushville, Ill.; two brothers, Gary Lee Smith of Beardstown, Ill., and Sterling Sidney Smith from Rushville, Ill.
Surviving are his wife, Linda Gayle Phelps Smith of Marissa, Ill., whom he married on Feb. 14, 1969 in McHenry, Ky.; his children, Becky Lynn (Richard) Kurtz of Darmstadt, Ill., from his first marriage to Marsha Lynn Reed Herren, Timothy Eugene Smith of Marissa, Ill., and Matthew Chad (Mary Kay) Smith of Bluffs, Ill.; his grandchildren, Joseph Robert (Melissa) Kurtz from Oak Forest, Ill., Zachary Lee (Brittany) Kurtz of Marissa, Ill., Corporal Bradley (Jeana) Kurtz of Grafenwaohr, Germany, Kyra Smith of Marissa, Ill., Savannah Robinson, Alexandra (Lexie) Robinson, and Chase Conrad Smith of Bluffs, Ill.; three great-grandchildren, Reed and Nora Kurtz of Oak Forest, Ill., and Kinzley Kurtz of Marissa, Ill.; a brother, Roger William (Sandy) Smith of Chatham, Ill.; a sister, Becky Pearl Bryant (Vic) Menely of Rushville, Ill.; a sister-in-law, Zella (Gary) Smith of Beardstown, Ill.; two nieces, Tara (Greg) McDaniel of Franklin, Ill., and Tammy Robb of Springfield, Mo.; and three nephews, Ronnie Smith of Sunset, Texas, Sterling Smith of Muldrow, Okla., and Gary (April) Smith of Long Lane, Mo. He will be sadly missed by the Phelps family.
The family would like to thank the doctors and nurses that have cared for Dick and to all the friends who visited with him in the nursing home.
Memorials may be made to the Marissa Fire Department for their Memorial Fire Safety Book Collection at the Marissa Library or their Explorer Youth Group.
Local arrangements are being handled by Irwin Chapel, 3960 Maryville Road in Granite City, Ill.
Visitation: Friends may visit from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 28, 2016, at Heil-Schuessler Funeral Home in Marissa, Ill.
Funeral: A memorial service will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 28, 2016, at Heil-Schuessler Funeral Home in Marissa, Ill., with Rev. b.c. Dale Bartley officiating. A private ash ceremony will be held at a later date.
Published in Belleville News-Democrat on Apr. 24, 2016