Chester "Kenny" Smith
Chester "Kenny" Smith, 86, of Boise passed away Monday, April 7, 2014.
Kenny was born in Bloomington, Nebraska on October 14, 1927 to Lennie and Chester Smith. He was the oldest with four sisters: Pearle, Maxine, Marilynn, and LaRayne.
Kenny grew up in Wendell, Idaho. He enlisted in the Navy in 1944, just before turning seventeen. Near the end of WWII, his ship, an LST, was approaching Japan for invasion when the war suddenly ended. He was selected to represent his ship aboard the USS Missouri when the peace treaty with Japan was signed.
After he was discharged from the Navy, Kenny met and fell in love with Dorie Stenberg of Ferndale, Washington. After only three dates they married. After their daughter Sandy was born, they moved to Caldwell, Idaho where their son Gary was born. Kenny worked for Mountain Bell in Caldwell and Boise. He retired in 1986 as an engineering specialist.
Kenny cared for Dorie until she passed away in May of 2003. His life was empty until he began volunteering at the Idaho State Veteran's Cemetery soon after it opened. He helped lay to rest nearly 3,000 service men and women and their spouses, and always stopped to visit with Dorie, who is interred there.
He was a member of the VFW Post #63 and received many awards including the 'Silver Medal of Merit' award and several 'Spirit of Freedom' awards and for his voluntary service to veterans. He also received the '2012 Idaho Distinguished Service Medal' from Idaho Governor Butch Otter.
Kenny was also a member of the Elk's Lodge #310.
Kenny is preceded in death by his wife Dorie; his mother and father and his sisters Marilynn and LaRayne.
He is survived by his daughter Sandra (Jimmy) McCary, son Gary (Karen) Smith; grandchildren Stacy (Michael) Paul, Amanda (Robert) McAuslan, Michael (Sara) McCary, Benjamin Smith, Anne Marie Smith, and Christopher Smith; great grandchildren Elizabeth, Charlotte, Caitlin and Connor.
Kenny will be greatly missed by his family and many friends.
Please join the family for a celebration of life on Monday, April 21st at 10 a.m. at Alden-Waggoner Funeral Chapel. A committal service with military honors will follow at 12 noon at the Idaho Veterans Cemetery.
Kenny's family suggests memorials be made to the Idaho Human Society, 4775 Dorman St., Boise, Idaho 83705; or to the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery, 10101 N. Horseshoe Bend Rd., Boise, Idaho 83714.
Alden-Waggoner Funeral Chapel
5400 Fairview Avenue Boise, ID 83706
Published in Idaho Statesman from Apr. 9 to Apr. 13, 2014