Eugene Smith passed away Sunday, March 15, 2015 at the Community Memorial Hospital in Burke, South Dakota, at the age of 78 years.
Funeral services were held March 20 at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Burke with Fr. Godfrey Muwanga officiating. Burial was in the Graceland Cemetery, Burke.
Eugene Martin Smith was born January 31, 1937 at Burke, South Dakota to Elmer and Mary (Cerny) Smith. At home, he joined his sister, Lila. In 1941 a brother, Alvin, was born. He passed away during infancy, leaving them a family of four.
Gene was baptized and confirmed at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Burke. On September 24, 1959, he was united in marriage to Avis Hutchison. Five children would be born to this union.
Gene served two years in the US Army, some of that time in Korea. He was honorably discharged in 1962 and his family returned to Burke to join his parents in operating the family farm. After his father suffered a heart attack, Gene and Avis operated the farm together, along with their children, as they became old enough to help. Gene retired from farming in 2005, entrusting its care to his sons, Ken and Brad.
Gene loved farming, especially along side his wife and children. He taught, by example, respect for the land, the value of hard work, satisfaction in a job well done and a desire to help others.
He enjoyed teaching his children, nieces and nephews how to hunt and fish. He served on many boards, including the Burke School Board and Union Township Board. He was active at Sacred Heart Catholic Church as a Lector and member of the Knights of Columbus. He took pleasure in playing cards with family and friends, and traveling, especially with his “adopted” brother and his wife, Jack and Leona Hampton of Omaha, Nebraska.