Obituary for Charles "Larry" Smith
Funeral services for Charles “Larry" Smith, age 71, of Portales will be 10:00 AM, Sat., Feb. 17, 2018 in the Wheeler Mortuary Chapel with Franklin Smith officiating. Burial will follow in the Portales Cemetery with Kalith Smith, Ryan Smith, Joshua Hollis, Braden Hollis, Troy Hollis, Logan Freeman, Desmond Little and Knox Smith serving as pallbearers. Ron Koester, Dan Gould, Nathan Hetrick, John Gentry, Mike Stratton, Mark Freeman, Mark Gardner, Laura Freeman, Ben Gardner, Dan Gardner, R. J. Johnson, Alvin Smith and Wayne Smith will be honorary pallbearers. The family will receive guests at the funeral home on Friday evening from 6 to 8 PM.
“But man is not made for defeat," he said. "A man can be destroyed but not defeated.” ― Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea.
Charles “Larry” Smith was born in Portales, NM on Jan. 23, 1947 to the home of Twila Audine (Johnson) and James O’Bannon Smith, and died Feb. 12, 2018 in Clovis, NM. As a boy, his family moved to Lovington for a short time, and then purchased a farm south of Portales and returned in 1949. He graduated from Portales High School in 1965 and Eastern New Mexico University in 1969, earning degrees in Physics and Chemistry. Farming introduced him to the love of his life, Kathy Annette Freeman in 1967. They were married October 16, 1969 in Portales. He joined the New Mexico National Guard in 1968 and finished his service with the US Army Reserve in San Diego, CA. Larry worked at Dow Chemical-Rocky Flats. He was a chemist for Holly Sugar Company in Brawley, CA and American Crystal Sugar in Moorhead and Renville, MN. In 1978 Larry and Kathy moved the family back to Portales to assist his parents on the family farm and expanded operations. During the agricultural depression, Larry used his Chemistry background to teach alcohol fuels at ENMU-Clovis and math and science in various school districts in New Mexico and Texas before retiring in 2008. While he was teaching, he fell in love with the book Sailing Alone Around the World, and began a passion for sailing that lasted the remainder of his life. Larry and Kathy enjoyed visiting Europe, Hawaii, Canada, Mexico and most of the continental US. He was always worried about finding his way home to Portales and never seemed interested in visiting anywhere more than once. He especially loved Johnny Cash, Buddy Holly and all1960s music. When we’d turn anything else on he would turn it off, and sigh with relief once his music was back on.
Larry is preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Kathy Annette (Freeman) Smith of the home. He often said that deciding to marry Kathy was the best decision he ever made. They both taught their children and grandchildren that love is more than a fleeting feeling; it is loving through the good times and the tough times, sticking with it even when the going gets tough. He is survived by three children, Kara (Troy) Hollis of Canyon, TX, Kalith (Abie) Smith of Roswell and Ryan Smith (RJ Johnson) of Long Beach, CA, and six grandchildren, Natalie (Desmond) Little, Rebecca Hollis, Joshua Hollis, Braden Hollis, Brenna Smith (she always made him smile) and Knox Smith. He loved spending time with friends and family. He loved his friends as family and especially his many Johnson, Smith and Stockard cousins.
For those family and friends who have called, stopped by and sent cards, you are much appreciated. Even though in later years it was harder for him to remember, he loved spending time with his old pals around town that he could visit and the kindness that the Masonic Lodge members showed these last few months (and to our family for the last 90 years). Many thanks to his caregivers, Roosevelt General Hospital and Clovis Healthcare Center for their kindness and care.