WILLIAM JEFFERY “JEFF” SMITH
William Jeffery “Jeff” Smith, age 71, of Centralia, MO formerly of Novelty, MO, passed away Tuesday morning, July 15, 2021.
Jeff was born May 9, 1950, in Kirksville, MO, the son of Will Edwin “Buck” Smith and Ruth Howerton Smith. He was united in marriage to Elizabeth Jane “Janie” Parsons on June 14, 1970, at the Novelty Christian church in Novelty, MO.
Surviving are his wife Janie Smith of Centralia, MO, three children, John Matthew “Matt” (Audrey) Smith of Centralia, MO, Leslie Erin (Zach) Gunter of Hallsville, MO, and Justin Andrew “Drew” (Tory) Smith of Columbia, MO, four grandchildren, Mallory Michelle and Adam Matthew Smith, and Abigail Ruth and Lila Dru Gunter, brother David Richard (Lois) Smith of Montgomery, AL, siblings-in-law Dean Bradley and John David (Sherry) Parsons, as well as seven nephews.
Jeff was preceded in death by his parents, Will Edwin “Buck” Smith and Ruth Howerton Smith, sister Martha Ann Bradley, and parents-in-law Jerry Ernest and Mary Jane Parsons.
Jeff attended Novelty Elementary School and Knox County High School, graduating in 1968. He then attended the University of Missouri, graduating in 1972 with a degree in Agricultural Engineering. Upon graduation Jeff returned home to Novelty to operate the family farm and raise his family. He was a member of the Locust Hill Community Church, served on the Locust Hill Cemetery Board, the Knox County Nursing Home Board, and was a part of the local MFA Delegation. In 2000, Jeff entered semi-retirement as he scaled back the scope of the farm and embarked on several successful sales and business operations, keeping him linked to the Novelty and Knox County communities that he loved. In 2015 Jeff and Janie moved to Centralia, MO to be near the children and grandchildren who meant the world to him. Jeff continued to stay active in business sales and managing property he owned in Columbia throughout the remainder of his years. Jeff quickly became just as beloved a member of the Centralia community as he had been in Novelty. He made many friends through his following of his grandchildren’s school activities, his regular attendance at pickleball league at the Centralia Recreation Center, his daily bike rides around town, and his regular drop offs of produce from his garden to neighbors and community members. Jeff enjoyed life every day and spent many fun hours in retirement gardening, fishing, going on trips with children and grandchildren, attending games of and following the University of Missouri Basketball, Volleyball, and Softball teams, and working on projects in his shop.
The family will receive visitors from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 21, 2021 and a Memorial Service will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday, July 22, 2021 at the Hudson- Rimer Funeral Home in Edina, MO.
Tresia Griffith will officiate the services.
Interment immediately following the Memorial Service will be in the Locust Hill Cemetery in Novelty, MO.
Bearers will be Ray Griffith, Gary Kaser, Robert Burnett, Jim Bob Gonnerman, Doug Smith, Chris Smith and Kevin Smith.
In lieu of flowers Memorial gifts may be left at or mailed to Hudson-Rimer Funeral Home, P.O. Box 1, Edina, MO, 63537. Memorials may be dedicated to the Locust Hill Cemetery or the Centralia Recreation Center.