Sam Smith (1927-2013), beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather passed from this life July 1, 2013. The youngest of nine children, he was born February 11, 1927 in Hazel Green, Kentucky. He is survived by many family members who loved him very much. Four sons-Sam Smith (Becky), Basil Smith (deceased) (Kristi), Brian Smith (Dena), and Miles Smith (Rose), four daughters Sandra Justrabo (Harold), Brenda Strate (David), Laura Schmidt, and Jenna Archuletta (Anthony). He is also survived by 21 grandchildren-Alexander Justrabo, Christian Justrabo, Amanda Justrabo, Nathan Robinson, Jeannette Martinez, Justin Strate, Benjamin Strate, Gloria Strate, Haley Schmidt, Taylor Schmidt, Byron McMurtrie, Erin McMurtrie, Leslie Archuletta, Lindsey Archuletta, Meghan Smith, Zachariah Smith, Jordan Konnor Smith, Brandon Smith, Sean Smith, Allison Smith. Additionally, Sam has 9 great-grandchildren. As a future farmer, he won the State's Award for Fire Prevention in 1943, and in 1944 he was honored as an All State Future Farmer. In 1945, as part of a five member team, his high school was one of eight high schools awarded a Gold Award by the Future Farmers of America. That same year, Sam graduated with honors from Lafayette High School in Lexington, Kentucky. After serving in the U.S. Army for 17 months and five days he then attended Texas Western College, now the University of Texas of El Paso, for his undergraduate work. In June 1951, he graduated with a Doctor in Juris Prudence (Law) from the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky. In October 1946, Sam married Kenadean M. Wright in El Paso, Texas. They had five children, with four presently living. Kenadean passed away in 1974. In January 1952, he went to work as a Special Clerk in the lease section of El Paso Natural Gas Company in El Paso, Texas. Here he rose to Vice President of Energy Resource Development. In 1963, he was assigned the responsibility to investigate the potential use of nuclear explosives to stimulate low permeability gas reservoirs. In November 1968, as coordinator of "Project Gassbuggy", the Atomic Energy Commission, Bureau of Mines, Lawrence Livermore Laboratory and El Paso National Gas Company carried out the first industrial use of a nuclear explosive for industrial purposes. The experiment was a "technical success" but psychological failure. In November 1969, Sam was placed in charge of the gas portion of an American Petroleum Institute team that did the first world study of energy and its marketing for the United States Government. This was his most interesting and stimulating project of his work life. That same year, he was asked to give a talk on World Energy Supply before the Pacific Coast Gas Association and was selected as the best speaker for the year. From 1970 until his retirement from EPNG in March 1982, his talks on natural gas, coal gastrification, and nuclear stimulation of gas reservoirs always included information on world energy supply. In 1975, he married Jill A. Hooker Smith of El Paso, Texas. Jill's four children and Sam's four children become a loving family. Jill passed away in 2007. Upon retiring from the El Paso Natural Gas Company, he launched a career in working and consulting in the oil, gas and coal industries. He testified in four very large oil gas lawsuits and in one case involving coal as an expert witness. In January 1993, he was elected a director of McElvain Oil and Gas Properties Inc. He served as a member of the company's Audit and Compensation Committee, and also as a trustee of the company's 401K Plan until May 2007. In 1980, Sam became associated with ten others in the Kern Place Area. This led to the creation of The Kern Place Association, Inc. in 1981. He served as a director and officer until 2007, at which time he was elected an honorary director. Sam found great joy in working with others and giving to his community. The highlights of his accomplishments were the Madeline and Alethea Park projects. But his greatest contribution to the community, with the help of others, was establishment of The Kern Place Association which demonstrated his leadership ability. Sam loved flowers, trees, birds, and beauty. Most of all Sam loved and enjoyed people. The days before his parting, he went out to lunch and enjoyed honey shrimp and Tres Leche Cake. He was planning to host a big cook out for the Fourth of July. Sam was full of life, enthusiastic, caring, giving and respectful of others. Visitation will be held Wednesday July 3, 2013 from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm at Sunset Funeral Home-West. Funeral Service will be held at 12:30 pm, Friday, July 5, 2013 at St. Clement's Church. Interment to follow at Fort Bliss National Cemetery. Service entrusted to Sunset Funeral Home-West. Please visit our online register book at

Funeral Home

Sunset Funeral Homes-West - El Paso
480 North Resler  El Paso, TX 79912
(915) 587-4408

Published in El Paso Times from July 3 to July 10, 2013