Smith, Clodus Ray
Clodus Ray Smith, Oklahoma City, passed away peacefully at home on Saturday, August 14, 2021. He was 93 years old. Born on the eve of the Great Depression in rural Oklahoma, he was gifted with tremendous energy, focus, and intelligence. His unlikely career in higher education led him to the presidency of two colleges. Clodus was a creative thinker whose passion for teaching, and bold ideas touched thousands of lives over seven decades of service. Clodus married Pauline Rosalee Chaat on June 25, 1950. They met as students at Cameron College in Lawton, Oklahoma. They started their family in the Texas Panhandle: Marti, Paul and Diane born two years apart beginning in 1952. Having completed his Associate degree from Cameron, a BS from Oklahoma A & M, and a MS from OSU, the family moved to Ithaca, New York, where Clodus earned a Doctorate of Education from Cornell University. In 1959, the family relocated to College Park, Maryland, where Clodus joined the faculty of the University of Maryland in the College of Agriculture. He rose to the rank of Administrative Dean for Summer Programs. In 1973 he became Special Assistant to the President of Cleveland State University, and later was appointed Vice President for University Relations. He raised millions for an endowed chair and the school's law library. In 1983, Clodus was named president of the Rio Grande College and Community College in Ohio. During his administration student enrollment reached an all-time high and academic and cultural programs were enhanced. Three years later, he became President of Lake Erie College. Clodus moved back home in 1993. The couple settled in Oklahoma City and were ardent supporters of Cameron University and the Church of the Servant. He loved the outdoors. Clodus hunted deer in West Virginia, moose in Canada, caught walleye in Ohio and trout in Colorado. He established a wildlife habitat in south central Oklahoma and authored two books. His ambition and drive never prevented him from enjoying a good laugh at his own expense. Clodus was born May 15, 1928, in Dibble, Oklahoma to William Thomas Smith and Rachel Hale on a Choctaw allotment. He and his siblings are citizens of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, and his brothers Doyle and John are memorialized in the Oklahoma Veterans Memorial. He will be dearly missed by his children, Diane Chaat Smith and her partner, Jake Strongbow, Paul Chaat Smith and his wife, Lynora Williams, Martha Lynn Chaat Smith and her husband, Robert L. Jones; and grandson, Robert Parker C. Jones. Clodus was preceded in death by his brothers Doyle, John, Dale, and his sister Jean Johansen. He is survived by his sister, Barbara Thomas; his brother, Willard; and many cousins, nephews, and friends. Viewing will be Thursday, 9am-8pm, with family present from 6-8pm at Mercer-Adams. Services will be Friday, August 20, 10am (central time) at Mercer-Adams Chapel with interment in Hillside Cemetery, Purcell, OK. The family wishes to thank all who have provided love, support, inspiration and prayers throughout the years. In lieu of flowers, donations are encouraged to the Clodus and Pauline (Chaat) Smith Endowed Lectureship in American Studies at Cameron University. To watch the live stream service or share condolences, visit www.mercer-adams.com
Published by The Columbus Dispatch from Aug. 17 to Aug. 18, 2021.