Jesse Edward Smith was born January 1, 1941, in Neosho, Missouri, to Joseph N. Smith and Fern Adele (Vedder) Smith. Shortly after Jesse turned two years old, the family moved to a farm in Yukon, Missouri, where Jesse was raised with his eight brothers and sisters.
He died on April 2, 2019, at Kabul Nursing Home in Cabool, Missouri. He was 78 years old.
Jesse was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Harold Smith; and sister, Joyce Uptegrove.
He is survived by his wife, Katherine Lorene (Goodman) Smith of the home; his son, Danny Smith and wife Brenda of Summersville, Missouri; daughter, Vickie Smith and husband Edward Kubicek of College Station, Texas; daughter, Kelly Cochran and husband Scott Cochran of Springfield, Missouri; and daughter, Natasha Smith of Orlando, Florida.
Jesse was richly blessed with eight grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren: Alyssa Smith of Vienna, Missouri; Ashley (Smith) Collins, husband Michael Collins, Dawson, Joseph and Miranda of Houston, Missouri; Allison Smith of Springfield; Alaina Smith of Springfield; Matthew Collins, wife Amber, and Brilynn, Hunter, and Ryder of College Station, Texas; Levi Collins, Haylie Burdette, Kacie and Kaden of Houston; Zachary Cochran, wife Anna, Autumn and Audrey of Rogersville, Missouri; and Jordan Cochran, wife Sydney, and Oliver of Ozark, Missouri.
He is also survived by six siblings: Mary Daughtery of Diggins, Missouri; Garry Smith and wife Barbara of Monticello, Arkansas; James Smith and wife Marjorie of Summersville; Rees Smith and wife Tammy of Rogersville; Alice Jett of St. Louis, Missouri; and Randy Smith of Niangua, Missouri. He is survived by many nieces and nephews too numerous to mention.
Coming from humble beginnings, Jesse graduated from Summersville High School, Class of 1960, and quickly became employed by United Parcel Service, where he served for 14 years. He and Katherine were united in marriage on December 17, 1960, and eventually bought their small farm in Yukon, which they still own today. Jesse was the transportation director for Licking Housing Authority, Licking, Missouri, until his retirement in 2003.
Jesse became a Christian in 1974 and spent the remaining years of his life serving Christ and others. He attended church regularly and spent many hours volunteering his time to the service of his home church, Big Creek Church, Yukon, where he taught Sunday school and spent many hours building the new church facility. He loved singing and listening to gospel music. Jesse loved to travel and see beautiful places in America. He adored the majestic Rocky Mountains and often spent summer family vacations touring the western United States.
He was loved by all and will be deeply missed.
Memorials may be made to Big Creek Cemetery in lieu of flowers.
Services were held Friday April 5, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. at Big Creek Church with Brother Gary Steelman and Pastor David Jett officiating. Burial was in Big Creek Cemetery under the direction of Evans Funeral Home. Pallbearers were: Scott Cochran, Zachary Cochran, Jordan Cochran, Matthew Collins, Levi Collins, and Michael Collins.