Larry Smith

Michael Larry Smith was born in Buffalo, Sept. 12, 1939 to parents, Homer L. Smith and Elizabeth (Bonner) Smith and departed this life, surrounded by loving family, Jan. 17, 2022 in Mercy Hospital, Springfield.
In his youth, Smith was a band geek enthusiastically playing 1st chair trombone in Buffalo elementary and high school bands and orchestras. In his early teens, he was employed by his generationally owned family business, Bonner Ice and Feed, Buffalo. One of his duties there was to deliver ice to town businesses, pharmacies and restaurants that would place their daily orders in the window for how many blocks of ice would be required for the day. Smith also showed prize winning beef cattle in 4-H and FFA.
Smith was a loyal member of the ‘class of 57’ graduating from Buffalo High School and attended yearly class reunions.

On June 15, 1958 he married his high school sweetheart, Marilyn Ruth Potter at the First Christian, Buffalo, and they became proud parents to Larry Paul, Lisa Lynn, and Timothy Michael Smith.
Smith earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Vocational Agriculture from the University of Missouri, Columbia, plus numerous graduate hours, also from MU.
After moving to Ash Grove, he became an effective participant in civic affairs including the local Chamber of Commerce. While serving as president of that organization, in the early 70s, he was instrumental in reinstating the town’s street fair and livestock show.  
Smith served as a high school vocational agriculture instructor and FFA sponsor in various schools, including Ash Grove and Mt. Vernon, retiring from Willard High School after a total of 28 years teaching. During his tenure, he was involved and held offices in the Area 8 Vocational Agriculture Association, Community Teachers Association, and Missouri State Teachers Association. He maintained membership in the Missouri Retired Teachers Association.  
From 1969-1985 he co-owned and operated with his wife Marilyn, an OTASCO store in Ash Grove. For a short time after retirement, he established and ran The Prairie Patch, a you-pick berry patch at the family hobby farm on Highway 160.
Smith was a longtime active member of First Christian Church of Ash Grove (Disciples of Christ), serving in many leadership capacities including deacon and elder as long as health allowed.  
Preceding Smith in death were his parents and brothers Jerry Smith and Jack Smith. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Marilyn of the home, sons, Paul Smith (Lori Daniel), Ash Grove, Tim Smith (Tracy) Purdy, and daughter, Lisa Wallace (Allen), Willard; several grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and other family, as well as sister-in-law Mary Smith Moore and brother-in-law, Gary Moore, Springfield.

Open visitation was from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Friday, Jan 21, at Wilson-Griffin Funeral Home. Funeral services were at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022, also at the Wilson-Griffin Funeral Home, Ash Grove. Interment followed in Ash Grove Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Ash Grove FFA and left at the funeral home or mailed to Ash Grove Agriculture Department, 100 N. Maple Ln, Ash Grove, MO 65604 or to the charity of the donor’s choice.


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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