Joel Dea Smith, 81
Funeral services for Joel Dea Smith, 81, of Sycamore, will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023 at the Family Life Church in Dora with Zak and Don Hamby officiating. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3, 2023, in the Clinkingbeard Funeral Home chapel in Gainesville. Burial with full military honors will be in the Smith Chapel Cemetery.
Joel died Jan. 28. He was born June 17, 1941, in Sycamore, Dea Smith, to John F. Smith and Lenore (Short) Sanders Smith.
Joel graduated from Dora High School. After graduation, he attended Southwest Missouri State University and later attended Columbia College where he received an associate’s degree.
He joined the United States Army and proudly served his country.
On Dec. 22, 1963, he married Lynda (Croney) Smith and left for a 13-month tour in Vietnam. Upon his return, he was stationed at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and then later was transferred to Fort Lee, Virginia until the end of his service.
After his time in the Army, he was employed by Naegele Advertising Company in Kansas City. He then moved to Springfield where he worked for City Utilities. After that he had the opportunity to move back to his hometown of Sycamore and was employed by Contel Phone Company until his retirement. After retirement, he worked on the family farm and also was employed by the Dora School District where he drove a school bus for another 19 years.
He was a Christian and loved his wife and children and taught them to love the Lord. He loved spending time on his farm. When his grandchildren came, he became the best “Papa.” He loved them so much and enjoyed spending time with them at their countless activities, which he never missed until his illness prevented him from going. The great grandchildren came next, and he adored them as well.
He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Lynda Smith, of their home in Sycamore; one son, Greg Smith and wife Sonya of Nixa; daughters Crystal Warren and husband Jasper of West Plains and Natalie Rodgers and husband Chris of Willow Springs; nine grandchildren: Tanza Smith, Canyon Smith, Bryn Smith, Weston Warren and wife Allison, Kendra Shankle and husband Justin, John Garrett Warren, Drew Rodgers and wife Michaela, Landon Rodgers and Jace Rodgers; four great-grandchildren: Remi and Kimber Shankle, Halynn Rodgers and Langston Warren; four sisters: Maggie Newton of Jefferson City, Shirley Hambelton of Gainesville, Sharon Wilson and husband Don of Ozark and Connie Collins of Dora; several nieces and nephews; his best friend, Elvis Franks; as well as many other friends.
His parents and infant brother Ronald Smith preceded him in death.
Memorial contributions may be made to the St Louis Children’s Hospital, One Children’s Place, St Louis, MO 63110.
Arrangements are under the direction of Clinkingbeard Funeral Home, Gainesville.