Ben Jerry Smith of Deary and a lifelong area resident, died Monday, January 25, 2016 at Good Samaritan Moscow Village. He was 81.
Jerry was born August 27, 1934 at Kendrick to Ben Isreal and Evalina R. Slatter Smith. He grew up attending schools at Park, Avon, Bovill, Deary and graduated from Kendrick High School in 1952. He worked at Potlatch Forests in Lewiston and for area farmers.
Jerry and Betty Jo (Jody) Stone were married at Bovill on July 8, 1956. They lived in Lewiston for a time then moved to Bovill where he worked for Joslyn Pole yard. They then took over the family farm in the Park area near Helmer where they’ve lived since. In addition to running the farm, Jerry also worked for Bumgartner and Kirk Logging and later for J.R. Simplot at Bovill. For the past several years, he has farmed and raised cattle “full time.”
Jerry enjoyed Western music and was an accomplished harmonica player, entertaining others and playing at church. He was an active member of the Deary Community Bible Church, the Troy-Deary Gun Club for over 40 years, a life member of the NRA and shot small-bore rifles competitively for many years. Jerry was also active in community service and was always one of the first to volunteer to help someone else. He loved children and always had a hug and word of encouragement for them. His love of animals and his ability to make them do almost anything earned him the title of “Dr. Doolittle.”
Surviving are his wife of over 59 years, Jody, at their home, his daughter, Barbara (Dean) Kinzer of Pullman, and sons, Lewis Smith and Jim Smith both of Clarkston. He also leaves 7 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren, as well as sisters, Anna Hunter of Lenore, ID and Ethel Smith of Park, ID and a brother, Clem (Judy) Smith of Lewiston.
In addition to his parents, he was also preceded in death by a brother, Donald in 2015.
A private graveside service will be held at the Park Cemetery near the family home. A memorial service will be at 2:30 PM Saturday, January 30th at the Deary Community Bible Church. Pastors Jared Donigian and Brent Carlson will officiate. A luncheon and time of fellowship will follow at the Church.
The family suggests memorials be made to the Shriners Childrens Hospital, PO Box 2472, Spokane, WA 99210 or to the Salvation Army, or to a charity of choice.