Reverend L. Wayne Smith, 96
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Wayne Smith, age 96, died on Jan 23, 2013 at Quiet Oaks Hospice House in St. Cloud, MN. He was preceded in death by Allene Smith, his wife of 75 years, who died on this same date one year ago. Wayne is survived by his four daughters: Rev. Ann (Bob) Williams of Lafayette Indiana; Kay (Rev. James) Fish of Santa Rosa CA; Jean Wood of St Cloud and San Miguel de Allende Mexico; and Judy (Dr. Dan) Whitlock of St Cloud MN with whom he and Allene lived.
Wayne was born in Terhune, Indiana to Reverend A.D. and Anna Smith. He was graduated from Corydon Indiana High School in 1934 and from the Indiana Central College in 1938. He received his theological training from United Seminary in Dayton Ohio in 1940. When he was 16 years old, he began his preaching career, serving small Indiana congregations and riding his bike to make house calls.
Wayne was a Presbyterian and Methodist pastor for 64 years serving the Indiana cities of Medora, Bedford, Rensselaer, Hammond and Wabash; the Michigan cities of Flint, East Tawas, Royal Oak and Detroit; The New Mexico city of Hobbs; and the Florida city of Bradenton. In 2012 he celebrated 80 years in the ministry. In addition to his many years of service to the church, in 2007 he delivered the Benediction at the ground breaking ceremony of Quiet Oaks Hospice House and continued there as a volunteer through 2011.
Wayne was a skilled leader, serving as the first Moderator of the Wabash Valley Presbytery in Indiana, as the District Governor of Indiana Rotary District 6540, and as an officer of Indiana Planned Parenthood. He was respected in the church and in his community.
But his leadership was most important as he interacted with his family of nine grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren. Wayne wrote to his children and grandchildren that "certainty" was something he didn't possess. He said he sure didn't know all the answers about life-just the questions. He also taught us that even if we couldn't change the whole world that with love, compassion and acceptance we could make a difference. At age 96 he continued to embrace change as an exciting part of life and believed that being stagnant was a drain on the soul.
As a final act of gratitude for the life they were given, Wayne and Allene bequeathed their remains to the University of Minnesota for the education of a future generation of physicians.
There will be a private Celebration of Wayne's life here in St. Cloud followed by a family celebration in Indiana at a future date. Memorials are preferred to Quiet Oaks Hospice House, St. Cloud Hospital Hospice Program, First Presbyterian Church of Saint Cloud or Rotary International.
Published in the St. Cloud Times on Jan. 26, 2013