Alaska pioneer Sherman C. “Red” Smith, Jr., 89, passed away of natural causes at his winter home in Rio Hondo, Texas on Dec. 8, 2013 with his son Sherman Clayton “Clay” Smith, IV at his side.
A graveside service will be held at the Cooper Landing Cemetery at 1 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013.
Red was born in Madison, S.D. on Dec. 14, 1923 to Sherman Clayton Smith Sr. and Lillian May Hanneman. He was raised in the Rio Grande Valley towns of Mission, La Feria, and Brownsville, Texas.
After graduating from La Feria High School, Red moved to California and joined the U.S. Marines, serving from 1941 to 1945. He was a member of the Third Marine Raider Battalion in the South Pacific.
After an honorary discharge, Red attended college at the University of California, Berkley, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in geology in 1949. Red first came to Alaska in the summer of 1948 and returned to stay in 1949. He married Mardelle Minnette Shepherd in Cooper Landing on Aug. 12, 1950 and made his home there.
Red and Dell raised their family in Cooper Landing at their home on the Kenai Lake. Red built the original Kenai Lake Lodge, worked as a registered big game guide, owned a sawmill, worked construction and worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer and the Kenai Peninsula Borough. Red was a published poet and enjoyed hunting, fishing and prospecting in the great Alaska outdoors. He was a supporter of gun rights and believed strongly in upholding the U. S. and Alaska Constitutions.
Sherman C. “Red” Smith was preceded in death by his first wife of 30 years, Mardelle Smith, and first son Sherman Clayton Smith, III. He is survived by children Larry (Cynthia) Smith, Joseph “Dan” Smith, Timothy (Elyse) Smith, Pixie Smith and Sherman C. “Clay” Smith IV, Clay’s mother Lynda K. Smith; grandchildren Tim (Lora) Smith Jr., Laurie (Gabriel) Chavez, Michelle (Joey) Wicker, Matthew Smith, Mikala (Neil) Fulsang, Chelsey, Jessica and Nikolas Smith, Tiffany (Josh) Holly, and Ashley Smith; three great-granddaughters, Alessandra, Milan, and Elena; and sister Dara Kaupp; nephew, Mike (Patricia) Mitchell, and niece, Lillian (Roger) Dorcas.
Memorial donations can be made in Red’s name to the Cooper Landing Community Club, P.O. Box 508, Cooper Landing, AK 99572. Arrangements were by Peninsula Memorial Chapel in Kenai. Please visit Red’s online guestbook at www.alaskanfuneral.com.
Comments are closed