Cover photo for Reginald E Smith Jr.'s Obituary
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1929 Reginald 2023

Reginald E Smith Jr.

May 28, 1929 — April 21, 2023

Salt Lake City, Utah -

It is with great sorrow that we announce the death of Reginald E Smith Jr. After suffering for many years from a terrible and progressive illness, Reginald passed away peacefully during the early morning hours of April 21st, 2023. Born in Kansas City, Missouri on May 28th, 1929, to Reginald Sr and Georgelle M Smith, Reginald was raised in a vibrant home with his parents, his younger brother George, his Grandmother and her friend Nellie. He often remembered those years fondly.

Reginald was a natural athlete, playing on baseball and football teams through much of his high school days, and for semi-pro teams afterwards. But he still found time to serve as an Altar Boy in the Catholic Church for many years. During the 1940s his father bought a dairy farm near Grandview, Missouri, and later moved the family to a farm near Georgetown, Texas. Reginald had quickly become the key person that made these farms work. In 1947 he graduated from Georgetown High, even as worked mornings and evenings on the farm. A particularly memorable period of time came after his father had bought a farm in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas to supply alfalfa to the dairy cows. It was Reginald who went to the Rio Grande on his own, at age 19, and turned the alfalfa farm into a success. In 1951 he joined the U.S. Navy with his brother George, where he served for four years during the Korean War until being honorably discharged on February 1st, 1955. His principal duty in the Navy was as a flight instructor for Navy air pilots at Saufley Field in Pensacola, Florida. While in the Navy, in addition to his duties, he played sports, joined a square-dance team that toured the southeastern U.S., and met the love of his life, Barbara R Cooper.

Reginald and Barbara married on December 10th, 1953, and, after being discharged, returned to Missouri to begin raising a family. With both of the brothers in the Navy, his father had sold the farm, so Reginald began working as an electrical circuit card technician at Bendix, near Kansas City. During that time, he began taking technical classes, and eventually graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in Engineering, even as he worked full time and raised a family.

Prior to joining the Navy, Reginald and his brother George had taken an interest in big-game hunting, and, following his discharge from the Navy, Reggie gradually became fascinated by the allure of the Rocky Mountains. So, in the early 1960s he moved his young family to the Salt Lake Valley of Utah, where he began work in the Aerospace Industry. However, after Hercules closed down some of its operations in January of 1964, he transferred to Maryland, where he and his family lived for a time in the small and scenic town of Frostburg, outside of Cumberland. There he worked on missiles for the Poseidon Submarine. However, it wasn't long before he found an opportunity to return to Utah, and in February of 1965 moved back to stay. He and Barbara bought a home in Granger, Utah, where Reggie lived the rest of his life. Reginald continued his work as an Aerospace engineer until his retirement in September of 1994.

Through all those years, as well as the retirement years, he pursued his passion of hunting and fishing, and together with his family explored the Rocky Mountains from Canada in the north, down through Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado and all throughout Utah. We are all deeply grateful for the many wonderful memories of those days, from the fishing trips on the Green River, to the backpacking trips in the Uintahs, to the many, many other places we visited and experiences we shared. Everything my father ever did, he did extremely well, and he will always serve as an example for myself and everyone who knew him. He will be missed and remembered always.

Reginald is survived by his wife of 69 years, Barbara, by five of his children: daughters Rebecca, Jean, Kathlene and Brenda, and his son Patrick, and by numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his parents, his brother George, and by his son Michael.

There will be a graveside service at the Elysian Burial Gardens Cemetery located at 1075 East 4580 South, Millcreek, Utah, at 10 a.m., on Tuesday, May 2nd, 2023.

Funeral services are under the direction of Affordable Funerals & Cremations. Online condolences at www.afcfuneralhome.com .
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Reginald E Smith Jr., please visit our flower store.

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Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Starts at 10:00 am (Mountain time)

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