James "Lee" Leroy Smith, 88 of Topeka, Kansas passed away on April 27th 2019.
Lee was born in Topeka, Kansas on December 23rd, 1930 to Charles and Lillian (Worthington) Smith. He graduated from Topeka High School in 1948 and went on to enlist in the United States Marine Corps in 1951 where he served our country for 3 years earning the rank of Staff Sargent.
Lee married Ella Mae (Weber) on December 7th, 1958, she survives. The couple shared 60 years of marriage and were blessed with 4 Children: Calvin (Annette) Smith, Jana (Luke) Britto, Jackie (Felipe) Rangel and Logan Smith who proceeded him in death in 1985; 11 grandchildren;18 great-grandchildren; and one brother: Charlie "Toots" Smith.
He was also preceded in death by a brother, Larry Smith and sister, Reva Snell.
Lee led a life of selfless service. Following his time in the military he joined the Topeka Police Department in 1956, serving for 29 years and retiring as a Captain in 1985. He was also employed with McElroy's and owned Smith Laundry and Car Wash. Lee was a member of Golden Rule Lodge #90, A.F. & A.M. and V.F.W. Post 1650.
After retiring, he continued his commitment to others and his family. Alongside Ella Mae, he attended every sporting event, music program, food sale, and birthday party, showing his family a living example of selfless love. He was his grandchildren's biggest supporter and they were his biggest fans.
Lee will be remembered for his love of sports, reading, spending time with his family, tending to his home, gazing at his cows, telling stories and being ornery every chance he got. The lessons he passed down to his family will live on forever.
Lee will lie in state after 3:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 1, 2019 at Parker-Price Funeral Home, where the family will receive friends and family from 6:00 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. Funeral services will be 1:00 p.m. Thursday, May 2, 2019 at the funeral home. Burial with military honors will follow at Topeka Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Epilepsy Foundation, in honor of his great-grandson, Cruz or Oakland United Methodist Church in care of the funeral home, 245 NW Independence Ave, Topeka, KS 66608.
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