Bruce Funeral Home, Inc.
106 South Center
PO Box 192
Gardner, KS 66030
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Darrell L. Smith, 84, of Paola, KS passed away July 18, 2022. Visitation will be held 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. Friday, July 22, 2022 at Bruce Funeral Home, 106 S. Center, Gardner, KS (913) 856-7111. Condolences may be left at Read More
Darrell L. Smith, 84, of Paola, KS passed away July 18, 2022. Visitation will be held 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. Friday, July 22, 2022 at Bruce Funeral Home, 106 S. Center, Gardner, KS (913) 856-7111. Condolences may be left at www.brucefuneralhome.com
Darrell was born November 26, 1937, which happened to be Thanksgiving Day. The doctor reached the farm after his birth and pronounced him a healthy baby boy.
The youngest of four children, Darrell was cared for a great deal of the time by his oldest sister, Mildred. He was included in all the work and play at the farm. He helped shock feed when he was five years old. He picked cotton alongside his mother and sisters as well.
Darrell accepted the Lord as his Savior when he was about 10 years old.
Before he was 12, he drove the tractor that pulled their house on skids to another site a few miles away.
Always tall and strong for his age, Darrell plowed and harvested crops for his neighbors before he had a driver’s license. Given directions by a farmer he could do exactly what was asked of him.
He drove a school bus from time to time to the Texico schools.
After high school graduation, Darrell had several jobs with the NM Highway Department. He learned to drive the big equipment and was asked to complete very responsible tasks that he had never done before.
When he got his letter of being drafted, he obediently went to Albuquerque to sign up and the examining doctor turned him down because of an unrepaired hernia. He didn’t have anything to go back home for, so he enlisted in the US Navy. The examining doctor refused him unless Darrell allowed the doctor to repair the hernia. It had never bothered Darrell…he didn’t know what all the fuss was…but he did have the hernia repaired before he could be in the Navy.
November 20, 1958, he and Texalee Adair married. She finished her college degree and he finished his four-year enlistment.
In 1961, Darrell and Texalee were blessed with the birth of Lisa Dyan Smith. In 1970 Brad Allen Smith was born.
He worked selling life insurance, climbing poles for the REA, was a barber, attended college, contracted janitorial work, worked at Safeway Milk Department in Clovis, NM, Kansas City, Kansas, and back to Clovis, NM.
He worked 20 years for Gold Star Dairy in Little Rock, Arkansas. By 1999 it was retirement time. He then worked for Enterprise Car Rental.
A motorcycle wreck in 2009 immobilized him for nearly six months.
In 2012 Darrell decided along with Brad that he needed to live closer to Kansas City so Brad wouldn’t have to drive so far to help them. They put their house on the market and it sold in 13 days.
A house was bought in rural Miami county. Paola was 13 miles south. Gardner was nearly 20 miles to the north. It was a month before they could move into the house because of deep snow and bad roads. After a month everything was moved into the house and things were sorted out. New neighbors dropped by to exchange phone numbers. One neighbor organized kitchen shelves for spices.
Darrell eagerly mowed the acres of lawn as often as he could. It became his favorite thing to do. He also continued making various shaped baskets with used and new cowboy ropes. He must have been good at that because he was asked to show his baskets in a county arts display! He made a lot of friends with his baskets and other hobby objects.
Darrell is survived by his wife, Texalee, of the home and son, Brad Allen Smith and wife Jennifer of Gardner, KS. He left five grandchildren, five great grandchildren and four great, great grandchildren.
Sisters who survived him are Mildred Smith Bostick of Thousand Oaks, CA, and Koleta Smith Whitaker of Columbus, KS.
Friends from New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas and Kansas will remember Darrell as a man who loved to WORK.
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