Louis Robert Smith, 88, of Citrus Springs, Fla., passed away in the early morning hours of Monday, May 13, 2013, under the compassionate care of Hospice of Citrus County and his family. Louis was born in a log cabin Jan. 20, 1925, in Winfield, Ohio, to Robert and Edith May (Hoopengarner) Smith. Louis had four sisters, Ruby (E. "Red") Weick, Marilyn (Russ) Stalder, Roberta "Bert" (Ralph) Klinger and Fanny (Gene) Swad.
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On June 13, 1946, Louis married Leonia E. Zimmerman in New Philadelphia, Ohio. Louis and Leonia have five children, Thomas L. (Linda), Louis R. (Teresa), James M. (Becky), LuAnn (Danny) Hagey and Jeffrey L. (Adele). They also have nine grandchildren, Tracie, Clint, Josh, Donovan, Michael, Tisha, Nathan, Casey and Heather, and 11 great grandchildren.
In 1943, during WWII, Louis entered the U.S. Army where he was stationed in Okinawa, Japan. He was assigned to the Signal Corp, helping to build roads and erect bridges as well as working as a mechanic. He received an Honorable Discharge Jan. 26, 1946, and returned home to New Philadelphia.
Following his release from the army, Louis became an independent truck driver, hauling a variety of freight across the U.S. He and Leonia resided in New Philadelphia where they owned and operated Farmer Smith's Market located on East High Avenue. Louis continued with his independent trucking, hauling produce for their produce market. During this time they lived part-time in Naples, Fla., and part-time in New Philadelphia, Ohio. Louis loved camping and fishing and spent many hours of doing both with Leonia and very often children and grandchildren were sharing the fun with them. Louis also loved to "tinker" with things and could often be found in his garage tearing something apart.
Upon retirement Louis and Leonia traveled across this beautiful country with their beloved dog "Duke" and often with grandchild in tow, in what was lovingly referred to as "the hippie van." Louis and Leonia's later years were spent in Inglis and then Citrus Springs where he and Leonia built and resided in a beautiful new home. They spent many wonderful years there, visited by family and friends. They loved having a four-legged companion sharing their Citrus Springs home as part of their family. These included "Rudy" and "Andy" but no other animal was ever as dear to them as their "Duke." Louis was a colorful story teller and enjoyed sharing stories about his life with family and friends. He was an avid poker player, enjoyed playing dominoes and you wouldn't want to challenge him in a game of Uno! He will be missed by all those who loved him.
A visitation will be 12 p.m. Wednesday, May 15, 2013, at the Strickland Funeral Home Chapel in Crystal River, where a funeral service will be conducted at 1 p.m. Graveside military honors will be conducted at 2 p.m. Thursday, May 16, 2013, at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell. In lieu of flowers the family respectfully asks that you make donations to Hospice of Citrus County, P.O. Box 641270 Beverly Hills, FL 34464.
Strickland Funeral Home
1901 South Highway 19
Crystal River, FL 34429
Published in Citrus County Chronicle on May 14, 2013