Gary Duane Smith
Gary Duane Smith passed away July 15, 2018 at his home in Hawthorne of causes related to heart disease and leukemia. Born in Crescent City, Calif. on March 22, 1951 to Ira T. Smith and Mary J. Smith.
Gary was the fourth of five children. As a young boy the family traveled extensively in New Mexico, Oregon, California and Arizona before settling in Wheatland, Calif. After graduating from Wheatland Union High School, Gary carried on the family tradition by joining the United States Marine Corps.
He served for six years before leaving the service and coming home to help with his ailing mother. Gary was passionate about mechanics, he was a certified draftsman and mechanic who could fix anything often with a coffee can full of “extra parts”. After working for 12 years as a mechanic and general “Jack of All Trades” for A&R Bertolini Farms, Gary decided to pursue a new passion. He became a long haul truck driver for C.R. England & Sons. Fate smiled upon him during this time and he met the love of his life, Barbara Bowen. They married on Oct. 31, 1994 and enjoyed 17 years of marriage before Barbara passed away from cancer.
After the death of his wife, Barbara, Gary decided to retire from Landstar Trucking as a long haul driver. He loved his new hometown of Hawthorne and made wonderful friends in the area. In addition many of his trucking friends settled there and other continued to visit on their hauls through the area.
While Gary did not have any biological children, he absolutely adored children and helped his sister raiser her daughter, Jaime Beckman. His wife, Barbara had three daughters from a previous marriage and welcomed them into his family, loving all of his step children step grandchildren and his nieces and nephews from his siblings. He was a kind and generous man who loved to tell wonderful stories and teach his “children” mechanics, a truly lost art today.
Gary is survived by his sister, Judith Smith; nieces: Jaime Beckman (Sam), Pamela Henderson (Jay), Mary Scheer (Steven), Patricia Boggs, Delia Lee, Emily Benc (Dan); nephews: Eric Zumwalt and Donald Zumwalt; step daughters: Christina Sheperd (Scott), Sandra Rodrich (Chad), Debra Swickerath (Jamie); step grandchildren and great grandchildren: Charles, Abigail, Avarylyn, Jake, Morgun, Cody, Colton, Kurt, Logan, Jacob, Jackie, Kelley, Michael, Patrick, John and Tristen.
Gary was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Barbara; his parents: Ira T. and Mary J. Smith; his brother: Ira T. Smith and sisters: Mary G. Ford and Winifred J. Smith.
Services with military honors will be held at the American Legion Hall, 784 E Street, Hawthorne on Saturday, Oct. 6 at 1 p.m. A reception will follow.
The family requests any donations be made to the Hawthorne Fire Department, P.O. Box 1095, Hawthorne, NV 89415 or an animal rescue of your choice.