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S.M. True

S.M. True Obituary
S.M. True, Jr. PLAINVIEW- S.M. True, Jr., 88, of Plainview passed away on Tuesday, May 15, 2012. Funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 19, 2012 at First United Methodist Church with Rev. Jeff Taylor and Dr. Max Browning officiating. Interment will follow in Parklawn Memorial Gardens under the personal care of Kornerstone Funeral Directors of Plainview. A visitation will be held Friday, May 18, 2012 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home. S.M. was born on July 8, 1923 in Goree, Texas to Snoden Maddox and Nettie Belle Stalcup True. The True family moved to the Snyder Community south of Plainview in 1933. At a young age, S.M. began his farming career, helping his dad work the family farm. True graduated from Plainview High School and attended Texas Tech University before joining the U.S. Navy. During World War II, he served as a carrier-based night fighter pilot flying on F6F Hellcat. After the war, S.M. returned to Plainview and married Anna Jean Roberts on February 17, 1946. S.M. and Anna Jean began farming in Hale County, where he grew cotton, grain sorghum, soybeans and wheat. He also raised beef cattle. Anna Jean preceded him in death on November 11, 2007 S.M. was active in Hale County Farm Bureau for many years. In December 1958, while on a bus tour to Boston for the American Farm Bureau convention, S.M. won a 1959 Ford Thunderbird on The Price is Right. This event was very big news to the people of the South Plains, and many still remember S.M. as the man who won the car on The Price is Right. The car is still owned by S.M.'s son and granddaughter. An active member of his community, S.M. was on the board of the Plainview Livestock Show and the Hi Plains Hospital and was a member of the First Methodist Church of Plainview. He never retired from the farm, and spent the last years of his life raising Brangus cattle. After Anna Jean's death, Jet, a little mixed-breed dog became S.M.'s constant companion, and was with S.M. at the time of his death. Mr. True was elected state Farm Bureau director in 1975 and served in that capacity until he was elected president in 1982. During his 18 years of Farm Bureau service, he and Anna Jean tirelessly traveled the state, nation, and world. Anna Jean was always by S.M.'s side, a constant supporter and gracious ambassador for Texas agriculture. S.M. earned his private pilot license in 1968, and he and Anna Jean flew their own plane to many Farm Bureau events across the state. S.M. was known throughout the state of Texas for his work in agriculture. Some even called him Mr. Texas Agriculture, and not many would argue with that title. He carried an11-year tenure (1982-1993) as President of the Texas Farm Bureau (TFB), the state's largest farm organization. Those 11 years were critical for TFB as S.M. put his stamp on the organization. Membership grew, legislative achievements were noted and he oversaw the creation of the TFB AGFUND political action fund, now one of the nation's most influential agriculture PACs. True and AGFUND helped elect Rick Perry as Texas Agriculture Commissioner in 1990. One of S.M.'s strengths as a leader was his unique ability to bring people together and come to a consensus on even the most controversial issues. Throughout his lifetime, S.M. was recognized by numerous associations for his contributions to Texas agriculture. He received the 4-H Silver Spur Award for his many years of service and was named an honorary Lone Star Farmer by the FFA in 1977. In 1979, he was named Man of the Year in Texas Agriculture by the Texas County Agents Association. In 1988, S.M. received the Knapp-Porter Award from the Texas Agricultural Extension Service for his leadership in agriculture. He received the American Farm Bureau Federation's Distinguished Service Award as well as TFB's Meritorious Service Award. In 1998, he was named a Distinguished Texan in Agriculture by the Vice-Chancellor's office of Texas A&M University's College of Agriculture. He was named to the State Fair of Texas' Heritage Hall of Honor in 2002. While president of the TFB, Mr. True served on the board of directors for the Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company and as president of Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company. S.M. was named to the Governor's Task Force on Immigration and Agricultural Development, the Joint Committee on Farmworker's Insurance, and the Texas Family Farm and Ranch Advisory Committee. He served on the American Farm Bureau Federation board of directors, the Texas Beef Council (TBC) board of directors, including a term as TBC president, and was a member of the Cotton Board. S.M. will always be remembered wearing his signature crooked cowboy hat, always having a smile on his face, a twinkle in his eye, and a positive outlook on life. Survivors include a son and daughter-in-law, David and Linda True of Lubbock; grandson, Blaine True of Dallas; granddaughter, Larissa True of East Lansing, Michigan; Eric Plumlee of East Lansing, Michigan; and Ahmet Yilmaz (Gonul), an exchange student who lived with the True family in 1965-1966. He is also survived by Riley True (Margaret) and Mark True (Mary), who were much more than a brother and nephew, as they spent time together each day at the farm. Other survivors include his sister, Ona Belle Stephens (Bill) of Overland Park, Kansas, and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife; brother, Carl R. True; and sisters, Nell Marie Thornton, Lorine Mote, Mary Sherman, and Dorothy Setliff. Memorial contributions may be made to the Honor Flight in care of America Supports You Texas-South Plains Chapter, P.O. Box 94787, Lubbock, Texas, 79493 or to First United Methodist Church of Plainview, 1001 W. 7th St., Plainview, Texas, 79072. Online condolences may be made at www.kornerstonefunerals.com.
Published in The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal on May 18, 2012
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