Wilmer Keith Smith, of Gold Beach, passed away at the Oregon Veterans Home in the The Dalles Saturday, March 10, 2018, holding the hand of his wife of 59 years.
A memorial service will be held at the First Baptist Church, 29755 Turner St., Gold Beach, at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 14, 2018.
Wilmer was buried with military honors in Conrad, Montana, Tuesday, March 20, 2018, surrounded by family and friends.
Born in Conrad on March 3, 1933, to Mabel M. and Eldon G. Smith, Wilmer was raised in Conrad until his family moved to Bellingham, Washington, when he was in grade school. He graduated from Bellingham High in June 1952 and by August he was serving in the Army at Fort Lewis, Washington. After his two years in the military, he worked on the cable merchant ship “The Lenore” between Seattle and Alaska. He married Kathryn Smith in 1958.
Wilmer received his bachelor’s degree from Northern Montana College in Havre and his five-year certificate in Dillon. He taught industrial arts in Rudyard and Chester, Montana, and then moved the family out west to Gold Beach where he taught until his retirement. Along with teaching, Wilmer had a construction business, Summer Day Construction, and a chimney sweep business, which he worked after school and on weekends.
He was a coffee connoisseur and always had a quick wit, a good joke, an infectious smile with sparkling blue eyes.
He and Kathy attended the First Baptist Church and he had a special relationship with the Lord Jesus. This became a cherished relationship over the last several years but especially in his closing months as he drew closer to going home.
Wilmer is survived by his wife Kathy and their two children; son Robert Douglas Smith (wife, Burrell Smith) of American Canyon, California; and daughter Janine Kay Belozer (husband, Jon Belozer) of Maupin, Oregon. He has three grandchildren; Amanda McGuire (husband, Ryan McGuire), Jessica Nerlove (husband, Lucan Nerlove), Kristopher Belozer (wife, Jordan Belozer) and great-grandchildren, Lily and Noah. He has many nieces and nephews in Bellingham, Marysville, Mount Vernon and North Bend, Washington.
Any donations are welcome toward Gold Beach Union High School Woodshop program, 29516 Ellensburg Ave., Gold Beach, OR 97444 (make checks payable to GBHS, specify woodshop donation in honor of Wilmer Smith), or Samaritans Lodge Alaska — Operation Heal our Patriots (in honor of Wilmer Smith).
Submitted by the family.