Crayton Smith

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VENTURA, Calif. — Charles Crayton Smith, of Ventura, California, passed on, July 17, 2017, in his home, with family by his side, following a short battle with leukemia.

Crayton was born Dec. 12, 1942, in Lima, to the late Glenn and Twyla (Bartlett) Smith. He graduated in 1960 from Jackson Center High School. After a short college stint at Bowling Green State University, where he walked onto the basketball team and played with Nate Thurman and Butch Komives, he fell ill and almost passed from hepatitis. After getting healthy, he decided to follow his dreams of a career in television and movie productions and set out for California. Crayton became one of the first of tour guides at Universal Studios Hollywood. Shortly after, he was one of the first individuals to test into a new program to become a script supervisor. Crayton then worked on several iconic movies, those being "The Wild Bunch" and "The Green Berets." Seeing that supervising wasn't the way to achieve his goals, he joined IFA, now globally known as ICM, and worked in the mail room. It didn't take him very long to move up the ranks and become an agent, where he represented directors and writers. Crayton eventually found a niche where he could make a real difference and forged a new type of agency called Below the Line and opened the Crayton Smith Agency in Malibu, where he formed many of the standards that eventually became union law in the film and television industries for below-the-line professionals. The Crayton Smith Agency represented cinematographers, editors and production designers. He was later joined by two more partners and became the Smith, Gosnell, Nickelson Agency & Associates. Crayton's clients went on to win countless awards including many Emmys and Academy Awards.

During this time, Crayton raised a family in the beautiful mountains of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He is survived by a daughter, McCain Smith, of Reno, Nevada; a son, Morgan Smith, and Morgan's wonderful companion, Rebecca Lahr, of Los Angeles, California. He is also survived by siblings, Karen (Warren) Sprague Jr. and James "Bart" (Kathy) Smith, both of Jackson Center; four nieces; a nephew; and 10 great-nieces and -nephews. He always tried to get "home" to Ohio as often as possible and even moved his family back to Jackson Center for a few years in the mid-1990s. Crayton had many passions in life, one being his love for his family.

Other passions included owning top bloodline Arabian horses for show, attending a Jerry West/Magic Johnson basketball camp (along with his brother, Bart) and traveling extensively whenever he had the chance. Throughout all this, he met many interesting and influential people. Crayton will be greatly missed by the many lives he touched.

Following his wishes, his body was cremated and there will be no services. His ashes will be placed at a private location along the Snake River in Yellowstone later in September along with a bench, dedicated to his memory by a very dear friend, that will overlook the valley in Jackson Hole. Crayton, you lived a truly great life, and you can now be at peace.

Published in Sidney Daily News from Aug. 4 to Aug. 5, 2017
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