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SMELSER, ROGER WAYNE  
Roger Wayne Smelser was born September 24, 1948, to Annie Lucille Martin Smelser and John Thomas Smelser, Sr. at the small hospital in Matador, Texas. At the time of his birth, Roger's family was living in Whiteflat, Texas near his Smelser grandparent's home place. Roger's father was farming on the place. He started school in Morton, Texas. Roger was eleven when the family moved to Seminole, Texas. His father was working as an operator at an oil refinery. The family's next move was to Odessa, Texas. They met a family there by the name of Harris who's father convinced Roger's father that the Imperial Valley in California had all kinds of jobs. In 1961, the family moved to Brawley and lived at the Poe Subdivision. Roger started school at Barbara Worth in 1962, and the family then moved to the Government Camp on North Imperial. He graduated from 8th grade in 1963. The summer of his freshman year at Brawley High School, he learned to drive a tractor. He worked for the Elmores, Fifields, Harvey Sidhu, John Flammang and other farmers to support his family. The most fun he had was working for Mel Sawyer at the Exxon station. His friends, Lucky Cummings and Clarence Hoskins also worked there. He drove Mel's 52 GMC pickup delivering cars and running down parts. Roger also worked at Ray's Body Shop painting cars, drove grain trucks for Lucky's dad, Bob Cummings, and eventually went to work for Batley Janss hauling chopped alfalfa. Roger met Teri Smith in 1969. They were married on May 16, 1970. Two months later Roger was drafted into the Army. He left Brawley for basic training at Forth Ord, Monterey, California, on August 3, 1970. He did OJT at Fort Knox, Kentucky and then left for Vietnam on March 20, 1971. Roger arrived back in the States in 1972. He returned to work at Batley Janns but later began workign for the Imperial Irrigation District on June 28, 1972 as a mechanic. He used his GI bill to continue his education after obtaining his GED in Vietnam. Roger received an AA degree from Imperial Valley College in 1978. He retired from the Imperial Irrigation District on June 28, 2016, as Superintendent of Generation Maintenance. Roger is survived by his wife of 46 years, Teri; sons, Derek (Kari) and Matthew (Lisa) Smelser, grandchildren Paige, Anson and Rhett Smelser, Dustin Wilson and his wife Jennifer and their children Madilyn and Nathan; one sister, Brenda (Mike) Spear and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and brother John, Jr. The family wishes to thank his two best friends, Joline Morgan and Norma Barros along with Hospice of Imperial Valley. Dispostion will be private. The family requests that any donations be made to the charity of your choice.
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Published in Imperial Valley Press Online from July 24 to July 26, 2016
SMITH, GARY  
Gary Smith, 61, of Holtville passed away on July 2, 2016. He was born in Bastrop, Louisiana on November 9, 1954 to Eugene and Dollie Smith. They later moved to Holtville in 1958. Gary married his wife Beverly in July 1976. They had three children, Jason, Jared and Katelyn. Throughout his life he worked for Jack Cradic, Joe Maggio, Mario Saikhon and recently retired from the County of Imperial after 19 years. Gary is survived by his wife, Beverly and their children, Jason and wife Ashley, Jared and Katelyn; grandchildren, Madison, Lexis and Tanner; sisters, Judy (Rod) Goodsell, Partricia (John) Williams and Connie (Bill) Belcher and numerous nieces and nephews. There will be a celebration of his life at Trinity Baptist Church in Holtville on July 30th at 10:30 a.m. and will be officiated by Pastor Richard Moore.
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Published in Imperial Valley Press Online on July 24, 2016
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