Merle Vernon Smith
Merle Vernon Smith entered into life April 4, 1938, in Linsborg, KS. He grew up in Little River, KS, where he attended school. He loved living on the family farm. His family moved into town when he was ten, but he always wanted to go back to the farm. He worked along side of his father and learned how to work on machinery. He could fix anything—electrical, home repair, plumbing, & etc.—and had no fear of heights.
He enlisted in the navy, doing his basic training in San Diego, CA. He served from October 30, 1960, to October 21, 1964, on the aircraft carrier Bon Homme Richard that was stationed in Hong Kong, Okinawa, Japan, along with stops in Hawaii and the Philippines.
He moved to Henryetta, OK after his discharge. He helped build Interstate 40 and the Indian Nation Turnpike. During this time, the trucker met the waitress, Brenda, and they married October 2, 1965. They have two children who are loved and cherished: Kim and James.
He graduated from Okmulgee Tech in August 1967 and went to work for Phillips in Bartlesville, OK for twenty-nine years as a Senior Electronics Instrument Technician. He retired November 7, 1995.
In December of 1996 he began working for Heartland Cement in Independence, KS as an Instrument & Electronics Supervisor, retiring February 29, 2000.
His dream of returning to the farm was realized on August 8, 1995, when they bought 160 acres of beautiful land in Dustin, OK that he loved to visit and play on with his tractor or work in his shop.
He was a proud member of the Fraternal Order of the Eagles Aerie 10 from 1983 to present.
He was a member of the Trinity Baptist Church.
Cornerstone Hospice helped with his care. He entered into rest at 84 years old with his wife by his side on April 20, 2022, in Bartlesville, OK.
Many thanks to Dr. Mehrle, Dr. Cupp, and Dr. Simmons for their care.
Those left to cherish his memory are his wife, Brenda; daughter Kim Taddeo and husband Steve; son James Smith; sisters and brothers-in-law Patricia Mitchell of Winston-Salem, NC, Carol & Larry Pulliam of Ardmore, OK, David Parker of Oologah-Claremore, OK, Jan Nell & Dennis Johnson of Henryetta, OK, and Francis Loder of Tulsa, OK; and several nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents Ralph & Pauline Smith; sister Coralie Loder; in-laws that adored him Horace & Juanita Parker; and his brother-in-law Sam Parker.
Memorials may be given in his name to the SPCA in Bartlesville, OK or to the Animal Rescue Foundation (A. R. F.).