Shelby Smith
1927 - 2020
{ "" }
Share
Share Shelby's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
Shelby Smith
August 8, 1927 - November 6, 2020
Wichita, Kansas - A Kansas Icon - Shelby grew up in St. Joseph, Missouri. He graduated from Central High School and later from the University of Kansas with a degree in Business Administration – having also been a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. As a young FBI Agent, commuting to work in downtown New York City, from South Orange, New Jersey, he studied while on the trains to earn a Masters degree in Banking and Finance from New York University.
Shelby was a Navy Veteran of World War II and the Korean Conflict, an FBI Agent, the Director of Security at Boeing Aircraft, and an investment banker with Ranson & Company and Slawson Oil.
He was a Kansas Legislator serving as Chairman of the House Tax Committee, Lieutenant Governor of Kansas, and the State's Secretary of Administration. In this last capacity, Shelby originated the State Office Building in downtown Wichita, a long-needed facility housing a satellite office for the Governor and almost a thousand employees for 11 state agencies.
In the Kansas House of Representatives, he was the chief sponsor of legislation which created the state's first police academy, setting minimum training standards for all Kansas law-enforcement officers – legislation for which he was awarded an honorary lifetime membership in the Kansas Peace Officers Association. Shelby also served as the Director of the Kansas Association of Commerce and Industry.
As an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, he witnessed first-hand some of the pivotal events of the twentieth century: the execution of the Rosenbergs, the cover-up of the death of Josef Stalin, and the prosecution of the FALN terrorists who had opened fire on the United States House of Representatives. In 1967, he received a National Award from the U.S. Defense Supply Agency for his personal efforts on Boeing's classified military contracts.
Shelby's passion was his wife, Betty, their 5 children, and 12 grandchildren. The Smith family have been loyal neighbors of the College Hill Park community for 63 years, donating and decorating the nearby island urn, as a symbol of their endearment. Betty planned 38 consecutive family reunions, from Maine to California. Shelby's warm, friendly personality, humility, and common sense will be missed by all those who knew him.
Shelby was preceded in death by his parents, Roy and Marie Smith; and son, Shelby Kent Smith. He is survived by his wife, Betty; children, Leslee (Nick) Campbell of Denver, CO, Liz Jackson of Denver, CO, Shartel (Kim) Smith of Ridgewood, NJ, and Stratton (Kristi) Smith of Boulder, CO; and 12 grandchildren.
A private family service will be held, with a celebration of Shelby's life at a future date. A memorial has been established with The Lord's Diner. Share condolences at www.cozine.com. Services by Cozine Memorial Group – Broadway Mortuary.



To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Wichita Eagle on Nov. 8, 2020.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by Wichita Eagle
Not sure what to say?
6 entries
March 30, 2021
One of the greatest relatives I've ever known. Just an all around great guy. Even heaven is improved by his presence.
James Shartel
Family
November 9, 2020
What a lovely man. His intelligence and calm kindness left a mark on all that were lucky enough to know him
Julie Devlin
Friend
November 8, 2020
It was my privilege to work with Shelby when he was Lt. Governor and later in the administration of Governor Mike Hayden. We worked together as well on Wichita area projects. Shelby was an extraordinary public servant and was guided by a genuine sense of public purpose throughout his career. I am honored to have known and worked with him and encourage the family to hold a memorial service to celebrate his life at the appropriate time.
Ed Flentje
Friend
November 8, 2020
Group of 10 Memorial Trees
Plant Memorial Trees
Sympathy Gift courtesy of
laurie O'Rourke
November 8, 2020
Fair winds and following seas sailor.
"Boatswain... Standby to pipe the side... Shipmate's going Ashore..."

Thank you Shelby for your service to this nation. U.S. Navy, WWII and Korea.
Harry Simpson
November 8, 2020
The White Rose Bouquet - 36 Stems - VASE INCLUDED
Send Flowers and Gifts
Sympathy Gift courtesy of
a loved one
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences