Lester “Smitty” J. Smith, 88, of Tucson, AZ, formerly of Moline, passed away Saturday, May 4, 2019 at the Clarissa C. Cook Hospice House, Bettendorf.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:30 am on Thursday, May 9, 2019 at St. Ambrose Catholic Church, Milan. Visitation will be held from 9 – 11 am on Thursday May 9, 2019 at Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home and Crematory, Milan. Entombment will be at St. Mary’s Cemetery Mausoleum, East Moline. Memorials may be made to St. Ambrose Catholic Church, Milan or to St. Pius Catholic Church, Tucson, AZ.
Lester was born on August 22, 1930 in Princeville, IL, the son of Harvey and Zita (McDermott) Smith. He married Ruth McKinney on May 9, 1951 in Canton, IL. Lester was the owner/operator for Smitty’s Refrigeration for 37 years. He was a proud veteran of the U.S. Navy, and always reminisced about his time on the USS Iowa BB61. Every year the USS Iowa Association would have a local reunion where they would get together and tell stories of their memories and travels.
In Tucson, AZ they had the “Happy hour garage gang”, every day at 4:30 pm their garage door would open where a semi-circle of lawn chairs was placed with a big table of snacks in the middle. Lester and his family enjoyed taking trips up to Canada to go fishing. He scroll sawed hundreds of Christmas ornaments and crosses. The greatest joy in Lester’s life was his family, getting to spend time with his children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and his beloved wife, Ruth.
Lester is survived by his wife of 67 years, Ruth Smith; children, Pat Smith, Terry (DeAnna) Smith, and Toni (Tim) Gibbons; grandchildren, Nicholas Smith, LeAnn (Trent) Ferguson, and Ethan (Victoria) Gibbons; great grandchildren, Karlee and Tripp Ferguson, and Lucy Gibbons; and daughter-in-law, Laura Smith. He was preceded in death by his parents; son, Michael Smith; and sisters, Anna Jean Darling and Mattie Westfall.
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