Joseph “Joe” Leonard Smith

Joseph “Joe” Leonard Smith, 86, Lawson, MO, passed away April 28, 2023. Joe was born January 1, 1937 to parents, Emin Virl and Mildred Cornelia Smith, one of eight siblings.

He is preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Jim, Frank, Richard, Donald, and Harold Smith; and sister, Mary Lou Laird. He has one remaining sibling, Sara Epperson in St. Clair, MO.

Joe is survived by his wife of 56 years, Kathy Smith; son, Randy Smith; daughter, Elizabeth (Smith) Francken, spouse, David Francken; grandson, Michael Francken; granddaughters, Katy Smith, Kaitlyn Francken and Nicole Francken; Joe had many nephews and nieces.

Joe joined the Navy in 1957 and became an electrician on a submarine. After the Navy, he worked at General Motors briefly until hiring on at the Lawson Nike base. He worked there until the base closed. Joe worked at TWA, until he was hired to assist in opening the US Bulk Mail center in Kansas City. Joe continued working there until retiring as the Manager of Maintenance Operations in the late 1990’s.

Joe was an active member at Lawson Methodist Church. He had volunteered to coach for Lawson t-ball and softball teams. He was active in Lawson Rotary, VFW, was a Mason and also a volunteer Lawson Fire Fighter for many years. Joe loved working with his hands and building things. If he couldn’t find a part, he would make one. Joe was always ready to help family and friends with his gentle smile always there.

Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 3, 2023 at Bross & Spidle Funeral Home, 214 N. Pennsylvania, Lawson, MO. Funeral service will be held 1 p.m., Thursday, May 4, 2023 at Lawson Methodist Church, followed by graveside with full military honors at Lawson Cemetery. The family suggest in lieu of flowers contributions to Lawson Methodist Church, VFW or Rotary Club.

Our Sincere Condolences

Kathy – so sorry to hear about Joe.  Joe was one of the good guys and I always enjoyed talking with him!!
Rich Mordue

So sorry to hear about Joe’s passing and of course I’m sorry for Kathy and the rest of the family. Joe always had a big smile when I saw him. He and my dad were really good friends.
Steve Schwarz

Dear Kathy,
I just learned of Joe’s passing. He always had a smile and a kind word for everyone. May God’s blessing and your good memories comfort you.
Elizabeth Watson