Orrin Smith, 92

Orrin Smith. obit jpg

Orrin Smith was born March 24, 1924, at Long Pine, Neb., to Orrin Smith and Mabel (Hanson) Smith. When he was three, he and his younger sister Geneva moved with their mother to her family’s homestead near Dixon, South Dakota. Orrin had a life-long passion for horses and an aspiration to be a cowboy. He spent many hours riding his mustang pony around the countryside – there were rabbits to hunt and arrowheads to find. Inspired by old-west stories, he walked down the wooden sidewalks of Dixon with his spurs dragging and even once drove a bull down Main Street.

Orrin graduated from Dallas High School in 1942. He worked on the family farm until he was drafted into the Navy in 1945. He rode the train to the Great Lakes Training Center for basic training, then stationed at a reassignment depot in Omaha until his discharge in 1946.

Orrin married Irma Jean Edwards on November 5, 1947. They raised four daughters and were sweethearts and best friends for nearly 69 years.

During their first year of marriage, Orrin and Irma Jean lived in a tiny trailer in northwestern South Dakota. Orrin worked for a construction company building dams and bridges. He had the opportunity to work for a rancher in the area or stay on with the construction company, but decided to return to the family farm prior to the birth of their first daughter. He continued to farm in the Dixon area until 1957, when they moved to the Edwards farm north of Dallas. Orrin and Irma Jean farmed and raised cattle until they retired and in 2007 they moved to Herrick.

Orrin enjoyed hunting, fishing, target shooting, bowling, camping, reading, and dancing. He often needed a helper or driver for his hunting and fishing trips, or even for making machinery repairs, and his daughters enjoyed that special time with him. Orrin was the Sergeant-at-Arms for the Dallas American Legion and made sure that all of the guns were oiled and in working order. He belonged to the Winner Gun Club where he was a competitive trap shooter and helped present gun safety classes. He was also an active member of the Rosebud Horseman’s Club where he enjoyed calf roping and team roping in addition to organizing Little Britches Rodeos and play days. In his later years he decided he needed a new hobby, so he learned to cook by watching cooking shows, reading recipes and experimenting.

Orrin was a man of integrity and honor who kept his word. He worked hard, took time to enjoy his hobbies, loved his family, and enjoyed the wide-open spaces. He was a quiet leader without claiming to be one. His children, grandchildren, and extended family members loved and respected him greatly and will remember him through the many stories he told.

Orrin died July 27, 2016 at the Avera Gregory Hospital at the age of 92.

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