Richard's Story

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Richard Eugene Smitley, 84, of Marshall, Ill., passed away 1:24 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, at Signature Healthcare in Terre Haute, Ind. Dick was born Aug. 11, 1933, in Marshall, the son of Robert and Mary Elizabeth Forbeck Smitley. He was one of 11 children who all preceded him in death, Robert, William, Joe and Don, Eddie Turner, Mary Jane Mott, Pat White, Betty Sue Clark, Dorothy Altmeyer and Ida Athey.
He married Millie Hill in 1955, and was married for 31 years until her death in 1986. He later married Lois Smitley in 1990, and was married for 18 years until her death in 2008.
Surviving are his and Millie's children, Vicki (Keith) Welsh and Rick (Shelly) Smitley; grandchildren, Paul (Leah) Piper, Jennie (Jason) Morris, Loren (Sarah) Smitley, Genica (Pete) Williamson, Brittany Smitley, Trent (Andi) Smitley, Michelle (David) Webb and Brandon (Shawna) Bensen; 15 great-grandchildren; three stepchildren, Sue Robinson, Scott Comer and Kim Edington; and was the godfather of the Smitley Clan that includes 279 nieces and nephews with more on the way.
He was first employed by Ralph Montgomery at the Montgomery Rock Crusher from 1955 to 1958 and then employed by Van and Martin Tarble at Quality Lime Company until his retirement in 1988, after 40 years of service. During his time at Quality Lime he held the positions of dispatcher, scale master, out in the yard with end loaders and ended his career as the sales and marketing manager.
He served as mayor of Marshall for 10 years, first being appointed to fill the term following the death of Ted Trefz and was elected to the position twice. He previously served as a city councilman for Ward 3 for 14 years. He graduated from Marshall High School in 1951.
Following graduation from high school he enlisted in the U.S. Navy from 1951 to 1955. During that time he served on the USS Baltimore Heavy Cruiser Ship touring 25 countries and representing the United State in Queen Elizabeth's coronation. He also was a Korean War veteran. He loved his country and the flag of this country.
He was very proud and devoted to the community of Marshall. He started city sponsored pool parties, skating parties and hay rides for the youth, employed football players for the City of Marshall during the summer city work program, started the city sponsorship of fireworks for football games when touchdowns were scored, volunteered to take veterans to the VA hospitals in Danville and Indianapolis and volunteered with the Meals on Wheels program.
Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated 10 a.m. CST Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017, in St. Mary's Catholic Church with Father Augustine Koomson as celebrant. Burial will be in St. Mary's Cemetery with military graveside by VFW Post 5975 and Clark County Post 90 of the American Legion. Visitation will be 3 to 8 p.m. Friday, at the church. A wake service will be conducted 2:30 p.m. Friday at the church. For those desiring, memorial contributions may be made to Heritage Veterans Home, P. O. Box 278, Hutsonville, IL 62433. Online condolences are being accepted at: pearcefuneralservices.com.
Published on December 2, 2017
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