Thomas Gene Smith
Tom was born April 9, 1937, to Perry and Amanda (Sattler) Smith in New Underwood, SD, the seventh of eight children. He grew up on the family ranch working hard and finding a little mischief here and there. After high school, he helped his Dad on the ranch, installed poles for the Telephone Company in 1961, and helped to care for his mother who had multiple sclerosis.
On March 14, 1965, he married Linda Walker. They first lived on Tom’s parents’ ranch and worked there, and in 1966, they went on to work as ranch hands near Faith, SD, for Agnes Oakland. In 1969, they bought the Stoke Tibble place near Opal, SD, and began their adventure as ranch owners with their two young children, Rick and Vicky. In 1980, a third child, Christi, would join them. Tom and Linda went on to purchase the Emery Sternad ranch in 1985.
Tom spent 43 years on that ranch working hard, providing for his family, and taking pride in his place. He was a quiet man who was known for his hard work. He preferred family over crowds and loved playing pinochle. Tom was an example of honesty, integrity, generosity, hard work, and good character. He could always be counted on to help the neighbors, friends, and family. Tom took pride in well-fed animals, tight fences, good fields, and well-kept barns, corrals, and machinery. He loved trees and put forth great effort to plant tree patches and shelter belts on his place. He had a love of cats from an early age, and always had a favorite cat around. He despised weeds, and could often be found pulling them out by hand when it was past spraying season.
Tom had little use for money or material things. He found value in his family, friends, and ranch. His determination and work ethic was unmatched. Many times over the years, people in the community would comment to his children that their father was one of the hardest working, most honest men they had ever known.
Tom took good care of everything, especially his family. He touched our lives in so many ways, and left such a legacy. Saying goodbye in his final days taught us all that we had so many things to thank this great man for. We find comfort knowing he is Upstairs, sitting at the pinochle table with his granddaughter, Reese, in his lap, laughing with his brothers and sister who have gone before him.
Thomas Gene Smith, 81, of New Underwood, SD, was called home to the Lord on Tuesday, May 22, 2018. He was at home and lovingly surrounded by his family.
Tom is survived by his wife, Linda; children, Ricky (Cathy) Smith of Faith, SD, Vicky (Cole) Briggs of Midland, SD, and Christi (Clay) Marchant of Aladdin, WY; as well as numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He is also survived by two sisters, Shirley Schuettpelz of Salem, OR, and Nylia (Harold) Severson of Rapid City, SD; and one brother, Rob Smith of Union Center, SD.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Perry and Amanda Smith; his brothers, Jack, Keith, and Perry "Junior" Smith; sister, Karen (Smith) Delbridge; granddaughter, Reese Marchant; sister-in-law, Kay Smith; and brother-in-law, Wesley Schuettpelz.
The funeral service will be held on Wednesday, May 30, 2018, at 11:00 a.m. at the Central Meade County Community Center in Union Center with Pastor Harold Delbridge officiating. A private family burial will be held at the New Underwood Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Reese’s Angels Foundation in honor of his granddaughter. The foundation provides resources for counseling and support to parents who’ve lost children, or children who’ve lost parents.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.kinkadefunerals.com.