Roy Justin Smith, 86, of Excelsior Springs, Mo., went home to be with the Lord on Thursday, March 30, 2017 after battling congestive heart failure for several months and following a short stay at Hospice House at North Kansas City Hospital.
Roy was born on August 9, 1930 in Arkansas City, Kans. to Claude E. and Fairy Pearl (nee Powers) Smith. He was the fourth of five children. He attended Arkansas City schools and graduated from Arkansas City Junior College. He went on to earn his Bachelor and Master degrees in education from Pittsburg (KS) State University in 1955 and 1958 respectively.
Roy served in the Army from 1951 to 1953 and was stationed in Germany for 18 months.
He was united in marriage to Mary Louise Hollingsworth on March 24, 1951 and had just celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary.
Roy started his career in education by teaching Industrial Arts in Belle Plaine, Kans., for eight years. He and Mary Lou served as a Sr. Class sponsors for six years, which resulted in many funny memories and life-long friendships. After Belle Plaine, Roy’s teaching opportunities took the family to Hiawatha, Kans., and Leavenworth, Kans., before moving to Excelsior Springs in June 1967.
After teaching Industrial Arts at Excelsior Springs High School he became the first carpentry teacher at the Excelsior Springs Area Vocational Technical School. He went on to become the Director of the Vo-Tech school for 19 years and retired in 1992. He started a second career as the “Clerk of the Works” for the Excelsior Springs School District for the construction of the High School addition and the new Middle School. He took great pride in being part of these projects.
Roy and Mary Lou are parents to Stephen D. (Tanya) Smith, Omaha, Neb., Rebecca R. Fletcher, Kearney, Mo., and Debra L. Smith, Kansas City, Mo. They also have three grandsons, Justin L. (Lupe) Fletcher, Yuma, Ariz., Joshua M. (Melissa) Fletcher, Excelsior Springs, and Jeremy N. (Karlissa) Fletcher, Wheatland, Wyo.; one granddaughter, Hannah S. Smith, Omaha, Neb.; one great-granddaughter, Abigail G. Fletcher, and one great-grandson, Andrew M. Fletcher, both of Excelsior Springs; brother, Emmet G. Smith, Ft. Worth, Texas; and many nieces and nephews.
Roy is preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Dale F. Smith and Lael M. Smith, and sister, Melba Smith.
Roy’s greatest joys in life were his Christian faith; his family; woodworking, home and yard/gardening projects; and working with his many students over the years.
Memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 22, 2017 at Barbee Memorial Presbyterian Church in Excelsior Springs, Mo., with visitation from 10 to 11 a.m. prior to the service.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Roy’s memory to Barbee Memorial Presbyterian Church of Excelsior Springs and to Meet the Need, also of Excelsior Springs.
Arrangements are through Bross and Spidle Funeral Home, Excelsior Springs.