Floyd ‘Gene’ Smith passed away peaceful surrounded by his family on February 14, 2018 at his home in Meridian, Idaho. His passing has left an empty place in the hearts of all who knew him. Gene was born on October 16, 1932 in Wheatland, Wyoming to Julia Martha Henke Smith and William John Kern Smith. Gene enjoyed a typical boyhood, growing up in Wheatland and Sheridan, Wyoming. The unexpected death of his father when he was twelve saw the end of those carefree years as he stepped up to be the ‘the man of the house’. The ensuing summers he spent as cowboy on his uncle’s ranch with his summer’s earnings going to his mother to support their struggling family.
When he graduated Wheatland High School in 1951, he immediately enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He was originally stationed in Hawaii at Barbers Point. He was an avid photographer during his time in Hawaii, catching the true beauty of Oahu and Waikiki Beach when there was only one hotel. Next, he was based in the Philippines where he was a navigator on a reconnaissance plane that flew over Korea during the Korean War. He was always proud of his service in the U.S. Navy.
At the end of his enlistment he returned to Wyoming and joined the telephone company as a lineman working out of Lander, WY. It was there that he met Charlotte Faith McMahon who would soon become his wife. They were wed in Rawlins, Wyoming at St. Joseph’s Catholic church on December 14, 1956.
They moved to Wheatland where Gene began his career with the Wyoming Department of Transportation. Shortly after moving to Wheatland, Gene and Faith started their family. Gene was a hard worker with a high level of initiative and he always sought to learn new things to help make him valuable in his position. He learned to survey and to manage the various construction and maintenance projects in the district. When I-25 was built through Wyoming, he managed the project on either side of Wheatland. In 1970, he was promoted to managing construction and maintenance projects statewide and moved to Cheyenne, WY. After 33 years with the Wyoming Department of Transportation he retired and soon moved to Eagle, Idaho to be closer to his grandchildren and family.
Gene was always pursuing new adventures and hobbies. He was an avid baseball fan and shared his love with his son, Ron, coaching several baseball teams. He brewed is own beer using Wyoming spring water. Gene was an avid fly fisherman and tied his own flies. He loved to hunt deer and ducks and took up reloading. When Gene took up archery, the whole family joined him in this hobby. With a friend he built a canoe that he took whitewater running. Gene also took up rock collecting: cutting and polishing his ‘finds’ to make jewelry. Throughout his life, his passion for photography was always there. Every fall, he’d explore the Green Belt and Katheryn Albertson Park with his daughter, Debbie, to photograph the beautiful fall foliage.
Gene is survived by his beloved wife of 61 years, Faith, his two children Debbie (Jim) Herrud of Eagle, ID and Ron (Julie) Smith of Orlando, FL, four grandchildren, and 4 great grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his father, Kern, his mother, Julia, and his sister, Wilma. His values of honesty, hard work and perseverance as well as the desire to explore new interests were passed on to his children and grandchildren. He is remembered lovingly for all the wonderful memories he gave us.
A Funeral Mass will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Wednesday, March 14, 2018 at Holy Apostles Catholic Church, 6300 N. Meridian Road, Meridian with a luncheon to follow. Prior to his Funeral Mass, a Rosary will be prayed in his memory at 10:00 AM. Services are under the direction of Accent Funeral Home, Meridian. Remembrances may be left for the family at www.AccentFuneral.com.