Chester Lee Smith, 95, of Memphis, Missouri, passed away February 21, 2016, at the Scotland County Care Center in Memphis.
He was born June 7, 1920, in Scotland County, near Memphis, Missouri, to Frank Rodney and Bertha Irene Crawford Smith.
He graduated from Memphis High School with the class of 1939. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on August 30, 1942 and served as a Storekeeper First Class for three years, receiving an honorable discharge in 1945.
Chester married Lela Mae Moore on December 28, 1943. They began their married life in San Francisco, California with his wife working for Bank of America until Chester’s discharge from the Navy and then they relocated to Wyaconda, Missouri, where he and his brother, LeRoy Smith, owned and operated Smith Brothers Farm Supply until his retirement in 1981. Chester was a “people person” and loved working with his customers.
During his time in Wyaconda, Chester served as mayor and on the city council for many years. He also assumed a very active role in the local Lions Club. He was a member of the Masonic Monticello #58 A. F. & A. M., Grand Lodge of Missouri A. F. & A.M., Shrines International and Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, S. J. USA St. Joseph, Missouri. Chester was a member of the First Christian Church of Wyaconda for many years where he served as superintendent and deacon.
Following his retirement, he and his wife moved to Osage Beach, Missouri and his love for golf took him to the Dogwood Hills golf course where he was a ranger for many years. After fifteen years at Osage Beach, they moved to Ft. Myers, Florida, where they enjoyed warm winters and Chester enjoyed going to the Elks Club and playing golf at the Eagle Ridge Golf Course until he became disabled in 2009.
He is survived by his wife, Lela, of seventy-two years; two sons: Dennis Leo Smith, and his wife, Carol, of Lexington, South Carolina; Frederick Lee Smith and his wife, Beverly, of Englewood, Florida and a daughter, Arlys I. Grant and her husband, Roger, of Memphis, Missouri. Also surviving are three grandchildren: Dennis L. Smith, Jr. and his wife, Sharon; Tory L. Smith and his wife, Melanie, Heather S. Googe, PHD and her husband, Randy; a step granddaughter, Daniell Taughinbaugh; five great grandchildren: Mason Lee Smith, Carter Lee Smith, Braden Smith, Reagan Smith, Rliey Googe and two step great grandchildren: Katie Taughinbaugh and Jeffery Taughinbaugh.
Chester was preceded in death by parents; his brothers: Leo Smith, LeRoy Smith, Lester Smith and a sister, Lela.
A memorial service, celebrating the life of Chester, will be held Friday, February 26, 2016, with Pastor Dan Deatrick, presiding at the Memphis Funeral Home at 2:00 P.M. Burial of cremains will be at a later date. A visitation, with the family present to greet relatives and friends, will be on Friday, at 1 P.M. until the time of the service. To honor the memory of Chester Smith, a contribution may be made for the Wyaconda Christian Church or Timber Ridge golf course and may be left at or mailed to Memphis Funeral Home, 378 South Market Street, Memphis, Missouri 63555.
Online condolences for the Smith Family may be made by logging on to memphisfunerlhome-mo.com.
Arrangements are under the direction of Memphis Funeral Home.