Retired Lt. Col. Bruce Everett Smith, 73, of Peabody went home to be with the Lord on Monday, Aug. 5, 2013.
He was born Aug. 28, 1939, in Hays to parents Arthur Everett and Clara Livonia (Hemphill) Smith of Greensburg and had three younger siblings: Sharyl Haruguchi of Honolulu, Hawaii, Suzanne Potter of Birmingham, Ala., and Jon Smith of Detroit, Mich.
After graduating from Greensburg High School in 1957, Bruce attended Kansas State University, where he was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, ROTC, and the swim team and earned a degree in mechanical engineering in 1962.
While in Manhattan, he met and married his beautiful wife, Jeanne DeForest of Peabody, on March 19, 1960. They have five children, Barbara, Brenda, Scott, Brian, and Bradley.
Upon graduation, Bruce was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army and served two tours in the Vietnam War, flying helicopters. He and his family traveled around the world, living in Germany, Texas, Alabama, Kansas, and New Mexico.
He obtained his master’s degree from Webster University in 1982. He also received numerous awards including the Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Meritorious Service Medal, 16 awards of the Air Medal, and the Master Army Aviator Badge.
Bruce retired as a lieutenant colonel in 1984 after 22 years as an Army officer and relocated to Peabody where he worked for Kansas Farm Bureau, DeForest Real Estate, and Boeing Military Airplane Company. Bruce enjoyed playing golf with his friends and family, gardening, fishing at his pond, and designing and completing woodworking projects for his grandchildren.
Bruce is survived by his wife, Jeanne, of Peabody; two daughters, Barbara Smith Creighton and her husband, Dean, of Minneapolis, Minn., and Brenda Smith Rolfe and her husband, Dave, of Dallas, Texas; three sons Scott Smith and his wife, Shana, of Hesston, Brian Smith and his wife, Nissa, of Marion, and Bradley Smith and his wife, Celisa, of Wichita; and 16 grandchildren.
Visitation was Sunday, Aug. 11, at Baker Funeral Home in Peabody. The memorial service was Monday, Aug. 12, at Peabody United Methodist Church. Interment with military honors was Tuesday, Aug. 13, at Leavenworth National Cemetery in Leavenworth. Memorials have been established with Peabody Senior Center, Peabody Community Foundation, and American Legion Post 95, Peabody.