1921 ~ 2013|
Gilbert Glee Smith, 92, died March 2, 2013 in Taylorsville, Utah of pneumonia and Alzheimer's. Born on February 11, 1921, in La Sal, Utah, to Elzina Herring and Obadiah Motley. As a child, he was adopted by James Lindsay Smith, husband of Elzina Smith. Served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and survived the battle of Midway. On October 26, 1942, after landing his plane, a bomb was dropped on the USS Hornet Aircraft Carrier and everyone else in his squadron was killed. This experience left him with the belief that in an instant all can be taken and everything is replaceable, except people. In 2006, he was honored for his World War II service in Washington D.C. by Utah Senator Orrin Hatch.
Gilbert enjoyed piloting small planes. He played professional baseball and attended BYU. Education was important to Gilbert, helping his wife and children achieve advanced schooling, as well as for himself. He fell in love with Zella Fawn Bailey, a young nursing student, marrying her on December 5, 1948 in Reno, Nevada. They were sealed on February 18, 1949 in the LDS Salt Lake Temple. Their life and home consisted of laughter, joyfulness and appreciation. Gilbert was a member of the LDS Church. He retired from management at Mountain Fuel Supply Company.
Gilbert was very sociable and loved people and a good joke. He held the office of Governor of the Moose Lodge and is a member of the Elks Lodge. After retiring, he and Fawn took many trips in their RV visiting National Parks and enjoying the beauty of the southwest.
Gilbert is survived by his children Jan Marie (Marvin) La Bard, Gloria Annette (Jim A.) Eberling, Susan Lea (Charles) O'Brien, Reed Gilbert Smith, Jodi G. Smith; 13 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren; brother, Blaine (Carol) Smith; sister, Marva (Wayne) Walker; sisters-in-law Sadie Bailey and Lura Bailey.
Gilbert greatly grieved the loss of his wife of 60 years when she died five years ago. He is finally dancing in her arms again. He is preceded in death by his wife, parents, brother Wendell Smith, extended family Keith Bailey, Paul Bailey, James and AnaDel Hanegan.
Appreciation is extended for their compassion and service to Anamarie Rodabough (guardian and conservator, Guardianship Associates of Utah), Frances Lopez-McKenzie (caregiver) and Harry Uncles.
Funeral services will be Saturday March 9, 12:00 p.m. at Memorial Mortuary, 5850 South 900 East, Murray, with a viewing Friday, 6-8 p.m. at the mortuary and from 11:00-11:45 a.m. prior to services. Interment at Redwood Memorial Park, 6500 South Redwood Road, West Jordan, UT.
Published in Salt Lake Tribune on Mar. 7, 2013