Growing up, Rodney’s family moved around Missouri, but spent most of their time in Herculaneum, Missouri, and Sullivan, Missouri. He graduated from Herculaneum High School where he played football and won the state championship in 1964.
Rodney met the love of his life, Marilyn Boone, in 1964. Rodney and Marilyn were united in marriage on February 20, 1965, in St. Louis, Missouri. Two sons were born to this union: Rodney and Russell.
Rodney worked construction for most of his career, and he helped build the St. Louis Arch. He later worked for ProCare Medical Supply until he retired.
Rodney loved spending time with his family and friends. He spent the last 32 years chasing and spoiling his grandkids and great-grandkids. You could always find him swinging and singing one of them to sleep. Rodney was also an avid hunter, and he looked forward to deer camp every year. When he had time to fish, he was always trying to beat Marilyn with the “big catch.”
Besides his parents, Rodney was preceded in death by three brothers, Sonny Lee, Bud Zane, and Elmer “Junior” Smith, and two sisters, Bonnie West and Mary Lou Blattner.
He is survived by his loving wife of their home, Marilyn Smith; two sons, Rodney Smith and wife Linda, and Russell Smith, all of Mountain Grove, Missouri; four grandchildren, Rodney Z. Smith, Russell D. Smith, Jr., Zane Tylor Smith, and Whitney N. Aldridge; eight great-grandchildren, Sumor, Samuel, Zion, Skyler, Kaya, Kaleb, Araya, and Zander Smith; two brothers, Bill Birch and wife Sherri of Meadowbrook, Missouri, and Roy Lee Smith of Mountain Grove; six sisters, Kay Daniels and husband Bill of Falcon, Missouri, Charolette Rutledge and husband Randy of Mountain Grove, Verla Elliott Underwood and husband Ed of Mountain Grove, Sandy Lane and Mike Allen of Cabool, Missouri, Loretta Crisp and husband Dennis of Lebanon, Missouri, and Sherrell Blair and Danny Akers of Ironton, Missouri; one sister-in-law, Francis Smith of Mountain Grove; a special sister-in-law, Carol Caruthers of Festus, Missouri, a brother-in-law, Russ Stevenson of Mountain Grove; a niece who was like the daughter he never had, Cindy Herrell of Festus, Missouri; and a host of other family and friends who will miss him.
Memorial services were held Tuesday, July 25, 2017, at 11:00 a.m. at Craig-Hurtt Funeral Home with Evan Cartee officiating. Song selections were “Amazing Grace,” “Go Rest High On That Mountain,” and “When I Get Where I’m Going.” Rodney was cremated under the direction of Craig-Hurtt Funeral Home, Mountain Grove.