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Richard F. Smith

1923 - 2014 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Richard F. Smith Obituary
RICHARD F. SMITH December 6, 1923 - April 13, 2014 Richard Francis Smith was born in Columbia Heights, Minnesota on December 6th, 1923, and passed away from natural causes, on April 13th, 2014 at the age of 90, in Hemet, CA. He attended primary and secondary schools in Columbia Heights, MN, enlisted in the U.S. Army at Fort Snelling in St. Paul, and received his technical/engineering education in Minneapolis, MN. The youngest of the four children of Charles & Clara Smith, he is predeceased by his sisters Virginia Carling and Lucille Carlson, and his brother Eugene Smith. Richard, more commonly known as Dick, was a unique and independent person who never married. He was lucky enough to have met the love of his life, Norma Kjos, at seventy years of age, and they had sixteen inseparable years together before her death, from cancer, in 2010. Although he never had children of his own, he had a huge impact in the lives of his niece and six nephews, and to the children of his many friends and cousins. Dick was a snowbird long before it became fashionable, spending winters in Southern California, and summers at the cabin that was his passion and refuge. Overlooking Grass Lake, near the town of Big Fork in the Great North Woods, he, and his older brother Eugene, built the one-bedroom cabin themselves. Placed in an idyllic setting amidst the trees and birds that he loved till the very end, he spent countless days there, hiking, fishing, and hunting. Included with an invitation on one of his trips were lessons on identifying the trees and birds you encountered; his love for the outdoors was contagious. An outdoorsman of the "old school" variety, he valued the land and the animals above all earthbound things. Though he rarely spoke of it, he was immensely proud of being in the 82nd Airborne and parachuting into France. A career draftsman, he was also a skilled and creative artist, and his hand carved birds and ducks were always in demand and remain proudly displayed at many of his friend's houses. A devout Catholic throughout his life, any trip covering a Sunday included a visit to the nearest church; he was a parishioner at St. Mary's in Fullerton for thirty-five years. "Uncle Dick" is survived by that niece, Judy Sitton (& her husband Gary) of Chico, CA; and those six Smith nephews: Patrick (& his partner Rich Walters) of Fresno, CA; Dennis (& his wife Jackie) of Brea, CA; Tim (& his wife Karin) of Fullerton, CA; Tom, of Buffalo, WY; Gene, of Livermore, CA; and James (& his wife Stephanie) of Fullerton, CA. An open Memorial Mass will be held at 11:00 am on Friday, April 25th, 2014 at St. Mary's Catholic Church, 400 W. Commonwealth, Fullerton, 92832, with an informal gathering after, at the graveside at Loma Vista Memorial Park, 701 E. Bastanchury Rd., Fullerton, CA 92835. He was kind and courteous, and completely unaware of how much of an influence he was in so many lives. A point of particular pride for him, as it was for many of his generation, is that he never asked for help. He will be missed.

Published in Press-Enterprise on Apr. 22, 2014
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