Leander Eugene “Lee” Smith Jr., 94, Kokomo, passed away at 1:22 pm Saturday, April 4, 2020, at St. Vincent Hospital in Kokomo. He was born March 10, 1926, in West Lafayette, Indiana, the son of the late Leander Eugene Sr. & Mary Glea (Heeter) Smith. On June 8, 1978, he married Patricia Louise “Patty” Gilbert who survives.
Lee graduated in 1943 from the Culver Military Academy, the Black Horse Troop. He graduated in 1944 from Kokomo High School and then in 1950 from Butler University where he earned a business degree. He served with the United States Air Force, retiring as Major after 21 years, where he served in WWII, Korea, and the Vietnam War. Above all he was a gentleman, and a patriot who loved his country.
Lee retired from General Motors after 17 years of service. He was a member of Grace United Methodist Church and former member of the Kokomo Country Club. Lee enjoyed skiing, traveling, the Breakfast Club at McDonalds with his friends, and playing golf where he got a hole in one while in Maryland. He loved his dog “Molly” and watching Butler basketball. Lee was able to go on the Honor Flight to Washington D.C. with his step-son David.
Along with his wife Patty, Lee is survived by his children, Chris (Jeff) Burkart, and Sarah (George) Nichter; step-children, Cynthia (Maury) Wolfred, Lisa (Carl) Howard, and David (Lisa) Matlock; grandchildren, David Railey, Andy Burkart, Matt Burkart, Leanne Vencil, Mark Wolfred, Maggie Wolfred, Drew Wolfred, Stewart Matlock, Maddie Barton, Landon Matlock, Evan Matlock, C.J. Howard, Avery Howard, Suzanne Howard, and Hallie Howard, along with 23 great-grandchildren.
Lee was preceded in death by his parents; and first wife, Gloria Smith.
A Memorial Service will be held at 3:00 pm on Saturday, June 19, 2021, at Shirley & Stout Funeral Home & Crematory, 1315 W. Lincoln Rd., Kokomo, with Pastors David Osborn and Brian Cook officiating. Military honors will be provided. Friends may visit with the family on Saturday from 1:00 pm until the time of the service at the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made in Lee’s memory to a charity of the donor’s choice. Messages of condolence may be left online at www.shirleyandstout.com.
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