Chester Earl Smith, 78
Chester Earl Smith, 78, of Cuba, Missouri, previously of Drury, died Oct. 19, 2020, at Harry S Truman Memorial Veterans Hospital in Columbia. A private family memorial service will be held later.
Mr. Smith was born Dec. 22, 1941, in Ava, the son of Lester Earl and Mable Mae Nichols Smith. He grew up in Douglas County and graduated from Dora High School. After graduating, he joined the Marine Corps, honorably serving 14 years, including fighting in the Vietnam War.
On Sept. 1, 1962, in Miami, Oklahoma, he married Vida Maxine Stout. After honorable discharge from the military, he worked as a freelance carpenter, building and remodeling homes.
He lived most of his civilian life in Drury then moved near his oldest son, Cotton, in Cuba, where he lived for four years before moving into the Missouri Veterans Home in St. James. He lived there the last two years.
Throughout his lifetime, Mr. Smith enjoyed singing with his sisters and playing his guitars. He also loved being outdoors, especially hunting and fishing. When fishing, he would stay until the fish started biting; no matter how long that took, he would come home with fish. His family fondly remembers how, through the years, he acquired almost as many guitars as he had fishing poles. He loved spending time with his family and friends.
Survivors include his sons, Bobby “Cotton” Smith and wife Linda of Cuba, John Smith and wife Cheryl of West Plains and Chester “Gene” Smith of Drury; his sister, Eunice Ackerson of California; seven grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; parents-in-law Virgil and Lela Stout; his wife, Vida Smith; his sisters, Fern Shannon and husband Lyle and Shirley Chandler and husband Gene; brothers-in-law Maynard Ackerson and Byron Stout and wife Pearl.
Memorials may be given to the Missouri Veterans Home, 620 N Jefferson St., St. James, MO 65559.
Arrangements by Hutson Funeral Home, Cuba.