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Park Lawn Northland Chapel
1640 N. State Route 291
Liberty, MO 64068
(816) 781-8228

RALPH ELDON SMITH

Obituary Condolences

RALPH ELDON SMITH Obituary
Ralph Eldon Smith of Kansas City & Holt, MO passed away Saturday, 4/5/2014 of natural causes. He was 85 years old. Ralph was preceded in death by his parents, Cecil and Eva Smith of Pratt, KS and by his son, Michael A. Smith of Claycomo, MO. Ralph is survived by his wife of 63 years, Betty Joyce (Phillips) Smith; his brother Darryl Smith and wife Lynette (Garrison) Smith and nephews Randy, Ron, Russell, and Rod and many great nieces and nephews. Also survived by daughter, Valerie Funk Gautieri and husband Gino Gautieri, grandson Tyler Funk and his father and long-time friend of the family, Shaun T. Funk; his Daughter- in-law, Debby (Smith) Snitker and grandchildren Chris Bringus, great grandsons Mason, Dane, Luke, and Axel; grandson Jason Bringus wife Taia (Kisner) Bringus, great grandchildren George and Josie; granddaughter Melany (Smith) Messer husband Phil, great granddaughter Pipa Messer. Ralph attended Hansen High School in Hansen, KS. He was out going, participating in all sports and class activities. His nickname was "Willie". ??? Surely there's a story there. . . Ralph tried to enlist but he had an essential tremor and the Marines wouldn't accept him in Pratt. He made a trip to Oklahoma and enlisted in the Marines there. He went overseas to fight in Korea. While there his platoon was searching a village. He stepped on a covered latrine. The wood broke under his weight and he went in up to his knees. The guys knew he wasn't from Kansas City, but close enough; his new nickname was "S.!?&y Smity from Kansas City". After the war Ralph became a Drill Instructor for the USMC homeside in North Carolina. Ralph and Betty were married in April 1951. Mike was born in April 1952. After USMC Ralph drove grain trucks for COOP and drove independently over the road. He then went to work for Navajo Truck Line and the a few years later started driving for Yellow Freight Systems. He received many awards for safe driving and earned several million mile awards. He retired in 1995. After raising Valerie, Ralph and Betty moved to Holt, MO to enjoy their retirement. Ralph has many close friends from his days as an over the road driver and made many more with the "coffee guys" in Holt. Visitation will be 5:30-8:30 Wednesday April 9, 2014 at the Park Lawn Northland Chapel, Liberty, Missouri. Graveside services will be 2 p.m. Tuesday April 15, 2014 at Mt. Washington Cemetery, Independence, Missouri In lieu of flowers the family suggests contributions to one of the following charities: Wounded Warrior Project, Veterans of Foreign Wars, or American Legion. You may share a message with the family or sign an online guest book via www.parklawnfunerals.com (click on obituaries) Arr. Park Lawn Northland Chapel 816-781-8228
Published in Kansas City Star on Apr. 8, 2014
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