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Larry Jack Smith

September 4, 1951 ~ November 14, 2018 (age 67)

Larry Jack Smith

September 4, 1951 ~ November 14, 2018

Larry Jack Smith passed from his earthly bonds peacefully into his eternal life on the evening of Nov. 14, 2018. He was surrounded by love from both his earthly family and those heavenly angels that had gone before him.

In July of 2015, Larry was stricken with a debilitating stroke, leaving him with limited use of his right hand and a sharp mind. He fought to overcome the obstacles placed before him along with serious health challenges. Larry had the heart of a warrior, “Brave Heart.”

Larry was born Sept. 4, 1951, in Harriman, Tennessee, to parents Hugh Lawson Smith and Ethel Stringfield Smith. He joined sister, Brenda Sue. The family moved a couple of months later to Chicago, Illinois, for a short time. After a few months, the Smith family headed west. On Larry’s first birthday, the family car descended the grade into the small lumber town of Prineville.

The Smith family moved to the Portland area for a short time in late 1958 and then to Pagosa Springs, Colorado. In December of 1959, his family moved back to Prineville. In May of 1960, brother Michael was born, and that completed the Smith family.

Spending most of his life in Prineville, Larry graduated from Crook County High School in the class of 1969. While in high school, Larry was involved in the 4-H program, raising a pig named Cindy. He also participated in wrestling, football, track and field, and his fair share of mischief. Larry remained a supporter of the CCHS sports program, traveling out of town to wrestling matches and football games. And he was most especially an Oregon Ducks fan, holding football season tickets for many years.

Upon graduation from high school, Larry worked at Hudspeth Pine, feeding the boiler for the dry kilns. When the opportunity came, Larry went to work at Les Schwab Tire Company, working on the tire loading crew. He soon followed in his father’s footsteps and began driving truck. Larry drove more than 2 million miles before retiring in 1989 after 20 years with Les Schwab Tire Company.

In August of 1974, Larry married the love of his life, Debbie Louise Evans. After 10 years of marriage, they started ABC Fence, working out of their garage on weekends until his retirement from Schwabs. Fencing then became his fulltime job and passion.

In the ‘90s, both Larry and Debbie became active in the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the American Fence Association. Larry would later serve as a member of the board of governors and as president of the chapter, building a strong chapter and helping with many humanitarian projects.

In the late 1990s, Larry became involved at the national level of the American Fence Association. Again, serving on the board of governors, as vice president and finally as president. While serving as president of the AFA, he traveled the country, attending meetings and making life-long dear friends.

Larry’s biggest passions were work and helping his community. His favorite saying was, “There’s still two work days left until Monday.”

Larry, alongside his father and other community members, helped build the Ward Rhoden Stadium, earning them lifetime seats at the stadium. Larry, Debbie and ABC Fence helped build the play area at Ochoco Creek Park, filled sand bags during the flood, and donated time and funds to various children’s groups in the county.

One of his favorite passions he loved was the Crook County Fair, where he served on the fair board, helping to make it a better experience for the children of Crook County. Debbie and Larry, not having been blessed with their own children, often said they had a whole community of children to be loved and cared for. Both Larry and Debbie spent their lives quietly doing for the children of their community.

One of Larry’s favorite activities was road trips with family and friends. As those Baja trips were called by Debbie and friends, they were also known as “Eating Tours of Oregon.”

In his younger years, he enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping, riding his four-wheeler, Duck football games, and looking up and researching his roots with sister, Brenda. A favorite late-night activity was coming up with silly jokes and making that early morning phone call to tell the joke.

Larry is survived by his sister, Brenda Ashby; nieces and nephews, Stephan Ashby, Christina Ashby, Jamie Wolfe, Rawlin Smith, Rogan Smith and Rita Smith; sister-in-law, Jodie Smith; mother-in-law, Betty Isaacson; aunts, Ruby Smith and Dorothy Dorman; numerous great-nieces and great-nephews; a host of cousins; and many lifelong friends.

Larry’s departure leaves an empty space in our hearts but a lifetime of happy memoires and laughs.

Larry was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Debbie; brother, Michael Smith; and brothers-in-law, Steve Ashby and Tim Evans.

Larry will be laid to rest by his wife, Debbie, on Dec. 1 at 10 a.m. in Juniper Haven Cemetery. Funeral Services will be held at noon at Eastside Church with Pastor Dusty Flegel officiating. A luncheon will follow for sharing memories. Prineville Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

As per Larry’s wishes, memorial contributions may be made to Christmas in the Pines in his wife, Debbie’s memory. A scholarship fund will be set up at a later date in Larry and Debbie’s memory.

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