Our father, Ross Harvey Smith of Buffalo Gap, Texas, passed peacefully to be in the presence of our Lord on Monday, December 2, 2019. Born to Ross and Dorothy Smith in Toronto, Canada, on May 12, 1935, he was 84.
Dad honorably served in the Air Forces of Canada and the United States. During his service in the Royal Canadian Air Force, a petite raven haired young lady by the name of Beatrice Ivah Parsell caught his fancy while on a Greyhound bus ride. They married on December 29, 1953, beginning a love story that lasted nearly fifty three years until her passing on November 18, 2006. A few years later Dad met and married Nellie Boggs and together, they shared a warmhearted companionship until the time of his passing.
Through the years, his technical expertise in electronics and computers served him, our family and nation well. The wide variety of civil service and contractor jobs he held took him to remote regions of the world such as Antarctica and the Eniwetok Atoll as well as assignments in Guam and Germany. Although Dad's service to our nation kept him away from home for days, weeks or months at a time, he strived to make the most of our times together by attending school events and baseball games, helping us build model cars, taking us on family outings to Hollywood Beach; to see Apollo Rocket launches from Cape Kennedy and spring training games in Fort Lauderdale between the Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees. Some of the funnest times came in the rear facing back seat of the old Pontiac station wagon. Not only could us kids make funny faces at people in cars behind us, we could also get truck drivers to blast their horn by energetically jerking our arms up and down as they passed by. Also, we were far out of Dad's reach, giving Steve and Cathy the green light to really goof off! Most times would start off innocently enough with either of us saying "hey look, little ones!" which were small rapid moves of closed fingers to wrist that would bring a few muffled giggles. Soon thereafter it progressed to "hey look, big ones!" That was closed fingers to elbows action ultimately leading to boisterous laughter to which Dad would say rather sternly, "If you kids don't knock it off back there I'm pulling this car over!" Of course Steve, being the agitator, persisted which ultimately lead to a slug in the arm from sister Cathy thereby ending a few minutes of exuberant fun.
There were more tender moments as well. Times when gentle words of support and encouragement lifted our spirits and wise counsel helped build our character. Times when an arm around the shoulder, a tender embrace or drying of a tear, assured us of his love. Having committed parents that love each other and their children are truly a gift from God. So we thank you Lord, for blessing us with our father and Your servant.
And we thank you Dad, for your love, discipline and guidance that truly made a difference in our lives.
Dad was preceded in death by his parents, first wife Beatrice, grandson Justin Smith and granddaughter Leah Smith.
Left to cherish his memory are wife Nellie Smith of Buffalo Gap, Tx, his children from first wife Beatrice; daughter Cathy (Ben) Kelley of Batavia, Ny, son Steven (Harumi) Smith of Abilene, Tx, son Paul (Hilly) Smith of Kingshill, U.S. VI, daughter Cindy (Ron) Englund of Marina, Ca, son James (Amy) Smith of Plumas Lake, Ca, stepson Chuck (Kim) Goad of Wichita Falls, Tx, stepson Tim (Dana) Goad of New Braunfels, Tx, sister Lorraine (Tony) Memme of Rocca San Giovanni, Chieti, Italy, 9 grandchildren, 7 great grandchildren, 3 great great grandchildren, nieces and nephews, blended family members and dear friends.
The family first began in the funeral business in 1933. The Hamil's legacy, beginning with the Elliott's to John and Jo Ann Hamil and now continuing with Robert and Karla Hamil, is to serve families in their time of need.