Rodney Eugene Smith was born August 15, 1937 in Ransom, Kansas, to George Leslie and Pauline Green Smith. He passed away peacefully on June 5, 2013 following a short battle with cancer.
In 1946 his family moved from Kansas to a farm in Broomfield, Colorado, near Denver. Upon graduation from high school, Rod attended Colorado State University and graduated with a degree in animal production. While at CSU, he was a member of Farm House Fraternity, the college rodeo team, the livestock judging team, and the Haylofters Square Dance Club’s exhibition team.
Following college, he entered the Army, and while stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, developed an appreciation for the Ozarks. He was then transferred to Fort Wainwright, Fairbanks, Alaska.
While in Alaska, he continued his rodeo career, and it was at a rodeo that he met his first wife, Kathryn Enid Plowman. They were married August 15, 1962. Upon discharge from the Army, he and Kathy moved to Colorado and began searching for a place to pursue their dream of ranching and had their first child, Kimberly. They moved to Mountain Grove, Missouri, shortly thereafter. There they continued building their lives together and had two sons, Kyle and Duncan. It is on their farm that Rod and Kathy instilled a love and passion for agriculture in their children. Kathy preceded him in death in 1997.
He then married the second love of his life, Modene Pierson, on May 30, 1998, and added three more daughters, Jeri, Sandy, and Stacey, and their families, to his family.
He accepted Christ and was baptized on April 17, 1949. He was strong in his faith and a member of Mt. Pisgah Freewill Baptist Church of Cabool, Missouri.
Rod loved God; green grass; low taxes; fresh water; the purr of a tractor running at 540 PTO; cows turned into a fresh pasture; the boom of big guns at Ft. Wood reminding him of thunder; every piece of hay equipment running at the same time at different locations on his farm; a good deal on cows and fertilizer; a good deal on anything; pastures free of thistles and cedar trees; Kentucky 31 fescue; equipment that was durable; driving corner posts; big beef calves and small beef cows; a good corral system; the big hay field on the original homestead; country western dancing; neighborhood watch; praying; family.
He is survived by his wife, Modene; daughter Kim and husband Ernie Ehlers and their daughters, Kaitlyn and Erin; son Kyle and wife Brenda and their children, Doti and husband Wade Lambeth and Cody; son Duncan and wife Tara and their children, Madison, Weston, Dawson, Lydia, and Benjamin; daughter Jeri Welch and her daughters, Melanie and Kendra; daughter Sandy Cremer and her children, Brigg, Sydney, Shelby, and Brett; and daughter Stacey and husband Clint VanNatta and their daughters, Megan and Ashten; and great-grandchildren Kailey and Kyran. He is also survived by his mother-in-law, Sophia Briggs of Cabool; his three siblings, Larry and wife Virginia of Longmont, Colorado, Lynn and wife Mary Ann of Northglenn, Colorado, and Jolene and husband Curtis Sisk of Fresno, California; brother-in-law Tom Plowman of Fairbanks, Alaska, sister-in-law Peggy Hirt of Graff, Missouri, and sister-in-law Barbara Tate of Cabool, and their families, along with a host of other family and friends.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to St. Jude Children’s Hospital or the charity of donor’s choice c/o the funeral home.
Funeral services were held on Saturday, June 8, 2013, at 10:00 a.m. in Craig-Hurtt Chapel with Rev. Curtis Dowden, Rev. David Carroll, and Rev. Keith Reese officiating. Curtis Dowden, accompanied by Teresa Dowden, sang “I’ll Fly Away,” “Blessed Assurance,” and “In The Garden.” Pallbearers were John Broos, Dawson Smith, David Ellis, Cody Smith, Gary Barnes, Clint VanNatta, Brigg Pearson, and Weston Smith. Honorary pallbearers were Harry Richardson, Paul Wade, Carl Ice, Bob Caskey, Allan Foster, and Garold Welch. Burial was in Hillcrest Cemetery under the direction of Craig-Hurtt Funeral Home.