Gary was born on November 5, 1947 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama to Gloria Mills Smith of Tuscaloosa and Harry Laverne Smith of Santa Barbara California. He was succeeded in death by his parents, his Brother Kenneth Foster Smith, his Sister Cynthia Smith Hanson, Mother and Father-in-Law Gail and Lee Lehman, Brothers in Law Tory Lehman and Rodney Lehman, and Uncle Jerry Voigt.
He is survived by his Wife Roxane, Daughters Crystal Smith, Summer Oliver and husband James Oliver, Brianna Smith, Son Foster Smith and Wife Jennifer Smith, Grandsons Grant and Logan Oliver, Brothers Bruce Smith (Diane Smith), Jeff Smith (Mary Smith), Sister-in-Law Paula Smith, Brother–in-Law Roger Hanson, Nieces and Nephews Chris Werner, Kyle Werner, Misty Ward, Chad Smith, Eric Smith, Kara Hanson, Luke Hanson, Aly Damani and Vance Smith. Special Cousins Gretchen, Stephanie, and the late Diane Taylor.
Gary was born in Alabama and raised with his cousins, uncles, aunts, and family friends. His Grandfather was a Baptist minister and Grandmother was a home maker. His early years were spent with his little Brother Bruce and his Cousin Gretchen playing around his grandparents’ home and church. It was a wonderful way to spend his early years.
The family moved to Texas City, Texas after his dad came home from the war. Gary grew up in much simpler and happier times with playmates that became lifelong friends. His dad was an industrial arts teacher and his mom was a substitute teacher. Summers were spent in Galveston at the beach and school time was all about athletics. Gary was a star basketball and football player. His football career was cut short when he had a knee injury his senior year. He opted for a coaching profession, attended Sam Houston State for one year and then finished at University of Houston. Ironically after only teaching for a few months he decided that he had made a big mistake and joined the Houston Police Department. He loved being a police man, working all shifts on patrol, but nights were his favorite. He went on to become a crime scene investigator for 6 years and then to work undercover Vice with his favorite partner Charlie.
He met Roxie at the Shamrock Hilton in 1977 while he was working undercover. They fell in love fast and were married with in a year. Gary said it was love at first sight but Roxie had to be convinced.
Two baby girls, Crystal and Summer were born by the Spring of 1980 and the family decided to escape the city and bought a small ranch in Red Rock, Texas. Two more children Brianna and Foster rounded up their busy family of six. Gary, Roxie, Crystal, Summer, Brianna, and Foster enjoyed country life full of Little League Baseball, Karate lessons, Dog shows, 4-H projects and stock shows, vacations, and school life.
Gary established an insurance agency and Roxie owned a florist. Lockhart proved to be a town of wonderful friends and a safe place for the kids to grow up. Gary’s agency flourished and he had many clients who became close friends. He always felt fortunate to be able to work side by side with his daughter Brianna.
As the kids grew Gary was a hands-on Dad. He always cooked a big southern breakfast including eggs, sausage, biscuits and grits. He told his friends that his greatest accomplishments were getting all four kids potty trained and graduated from college. Welcoming Jennifer and Jim to our family made him so happy, – he loved them as his own. The next milestone for him was his twin Grandsons Grant and Logan being born. He said changing diapers was like riding a bike, it just came right back to you. He always created fun and dangers games to play with them.
He kept busy on weekends driving his tractor, gardening, carpentry, helping with the animals, and homing his skills as a plumber fixing pipes on the ranch. Life has been good and he felt blessed and complete with a great family.
Special thanks to friends Beirne Eeds and Bob Bowles, Vance Rogers and his church family, Sisters in Beta Sigma Phi, the Wilkerson’s, Lehman family, his brothers, the Voigt families, and his longtime friends and loyal insureds.