L.R. "Smitty" Smith Jr. died on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014, at St. Vincent's Hospital in Billings, Mont. from pneumonia complications.
He was born on Jan. 15, 1947, in Charlotte, N.C., the son of Lemuel and Carolyn (Finlayson) Smith. He grew up and attended schools in North Carolina. Following school, he entered the United States Army in January 1964, and was honorably discharged in December 1969. After his discharge he returned to Russell, Ark.
While living between North Carolina and Arkansas, he held several different jobs. He was a mayor, preacher, judge, worked on the pipeline, and was a devoted Mason. He worked as a welder on the pipeline, working his way up to foreman. In the late 70s and early 80s, Smitty was welding on the pipeline in Glasgow. This is where he met his wife, Lee Hoerster, and they were married on Nov. 15, 1981, in Las Vegas. After the marriage they returned to Hinsdale to live. During this time he managed the Hinsdale Cenex.
In April 1984, he started working for the Sidney Police Department and worked there until April of 1996. While working for the police department he also owned a yard maintenance business which he operated for several years. After working in law enforcement he worked for a short while for Power Fuels, and then became a landman in the oil industry. Next he drove truck for J Mar Trucking before starting his own company called Permit Plus. He was working as a pipeline inspector for Petro Hunt in Killdeer, N.D. For the last several years he also worked as a cattle buyer for Prewitt Cattle Company.
He really enjoyed spending time with his coffee buddies at Baker Boy, solving the world's problems and visiting with family and friends.
He was a collector of firearms, loved to fish and especially loved his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He enjoyed traveling, returning as often as possible to North Carolina to visit his mother and sister.
He was preceded in death by his father, Lemuel Smith, Sr.; one grandson, Jesse Nasset; and his stepfather, Jimmy Rutledge.
Survivors include his wife, Lee Smith of Sidney; two sons, Roger Nasset of Kalispell and Kevin Smith of Russell, Ark.; one daughter, Tammy Lunstad of Sidney; his mother, Carolyn Rutledge of Stanley, N.C.; one sister, Roxy Rutledge of Stanley; seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Smitty was a very unique and unforgettable man who could interact with anyone - about anything. He will be greatly missed!
Memorial services were held at 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24, at the Fulkerson Memorial Chapel in Sidney with Father Ned Shinnick officiating. Cremation has taken place under the direction of Fulkerson Funeral Home of Sidney. Remembrances, condolences and pictures may be shared with the family at www.fulkersons.com.