Gerald Thomas Smith Jr.
1934 - 2020
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GERALD THOMAS SMITH, JR.
October 27, 1934 - July 4, 2020

Gerald (Jerry) Thomas Smith, of Bakersfield, California, passed away peacefully on July 4, 2020.

Jerry was born to Lily and Gerald T. Smith, Sr. on October 27,1934, in his hometown of Bakersfield, California. He attended East Bakersfield High School where he enjoyed playing football and running track. While serving in the United States Army, he was stationed in Oahu, Hawaii. Jerry was always an avid thrill seeker. He had a passion for racing boats, flying planes, water skiing, snow skiing, as well as stock car and drag racing. He loved to hunt and go deep sea fishing with his brother, sons, nephew, and friends. His passion for flying led him to a career as a crop duster pilot and co-owner of Wheeler Ridge Aviation with his friend, Ron Hevle.

Affectionately known as "Pop," Jerry was truly loved by family and friends. He had an incredible heart and spirit when it came to serving others. He would often go out of his way to help anyone in need and was a wonderful example to many.

Jerry recently celebrated his 52nd wedding anniversary with the love of his life, Mary Ann. He was a fellow believer and one who cherished his bride for all to see. Together, they raised eight wonderful children and experienced countless adventures. He was blessed with 45 grandchildren and 44 great grandchildren. He had an incredible love for his family, all 105 members, and spending time with them was the highlight of his life.

Jerry was best friends and "Big Brother" to Larry and Deanna Smith. One of Jerry's greatest joys was spending time with his little brother traveling, enjoying the outdoors, and working at the family ranch, Smith and Sons. One trip took them to the Holy Land where they experienced the joy of being baptized in the Jordan River. It was not uncommon to find Jerry and Larry joking and laughing, as brothers often do.

His friendship was treasured by all and brought him such joy throughout his life. This is evident in his friendship with Larry Molatore for more than 62 years. Just to know Jerry was truly a blessing.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Gerald and Lily Smith, and son, Brad Hudiburg.

His beautiful life will forever be cherished in the lives of his family. He is survived by his loving wife, Mary Ann; his children, Leann and Jack Leonard, Jeff and Carol Smith, Tracy and Joseph Almeida, Robin and Sean Fredsti, Kevin and Lisa Hudiburg, Julie and Dan Hudson, and Howard and Lisa Smith; grandchildren and great-grandchildren; brother Larry and Deanna Smith; niece and nephew; grand nieces and grand nephews; and many, many friends.

A Celebration of Life Service will be at a later date due to COVID-19. Remembrances can be made to the American Parkinson Disease Foundation in lieu of flowers www.apdaparkinson.org .

The family would like to express their gratitude for the wonderful help and care given by Lancia Griffin, the doctors and nurses of Memorial Hospital, and special friend, Terrie Wattenbarger.



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Published in Bakersfield Californian on Jul. 10, 2020.
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July 30, 2020
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Christina Witmyer
July 12, 2020
As decades have passed and life moves on I remember Jerry Smith as a very special person. Mike, my husband and Jerrys friend, had a cherished friendship that I remember with a smile and a tear. Thank you Jerry for wonderful memories. God Bless. Jeanette Mettler Colm
Jeanette Mettler Colm
Friend
July 11, 2020
A very special man and a special family..most of my early life with the smith family was with Larry but Jerry was always around hanging out with my older brother Bill..What a great family man whose love shows through in Howard, Lisa and family.. prayers to all of the Smith family.
Jerry Waters
Friend
July 10, 2020
What a blessing to have known this wonderful, kind and generous man. He left his imprint on everyone he met and was always such a gentleman. Mary Ann, you have wonderful memories to last you another lifetime. I love you dear friend and I am praying for you.
Dian Sustek
Friend
July 10, 2020
We are so sorry about your loss of a great man, husband, father, grandfather and friend. Jerry was an example of a person we all strive to be.

May God bless all of you, in your time of sorrow.

John and Cynthia Fox

John Fox
Friend
July 10, 2020
God made the best when he made Jerry. He is one of the nicest, sweetest man we have ever met. We felt so blessed when our son married his daughter. Thats how we met Jerry and Mary Ann. It was a privilege to be his friend.
Dan E. Hudson
Friend
July 10, 2020
What a huge beautiful loving family that has a very special person that they have to miss.
I am thinking about all of you and praying so that you are strong.
I know that your faith has helped.
I feel bad that this is such a painful time because Pop was such a great man and it hurts to miss him
Take care of yourselves
Love,Susan Elliott
Susan Elliott
Friend
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