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Claude Red Smith, 83 - December 17, 2008


Claude Leroy “Red” Smith, of Arizona, formerly of North Platte, died Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2008, at Mesa, AZ.
He was interred at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona at Phoenix on Dec. 6.
Smith was born Aug. 14, 1925, to Claude Ellis and Clara May Ostrand Smith at Oconto. He attended Broken Bow High School and later attended the Kearney Radio School.
In March of 1943, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was stationed at the Great Lakes Navel Station in Chicago. Later, during the Second World War, he served as a radio specialist in the Solomon Islands.
Upon his return home on leave, he met Wilma Eilene Gartrell of Dickens. The couple were united in marriage on Nov. 18, 1945, and made their first home at Dickens.
Smith and his family later moved to Imperial before settling in North Platte, where he was employed by Sears, and later owned and operated Red’s TV and Appliance Repair.
In 1962, Smith and his wife and three children relocated to Mesa, where he began working for Goodyear AeroSpace/Loral of Litchfield Park until his retirement in 1987.
?Smith enjoyed camping, fishing and gardening, according to family members. He was a kind, loving and generous person who was beloved by his family and friends.
?He was preceded in death by: his parents, Claude and Clara; a baby sister; and his son, Larry Smith.
?Survivors include: his two sisters—Lucille (William) Rickertsen and Marjorie Smith of Gothenburg; his wife of 63 years, Wilma; a daughter, JoAnn (Harvey) Smith Raupp of Mesa; a son, Rick Smith (Jill Forbes) of Phoenix; seven grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews from Nebraska—Alan (Gay) Rickertsen, Archie (Jan) Rickertsen, JD (Sheryl) Rickertsen, Lori (John) Cox, Steve (Harriet) Olson, Brad (Kris) Olson, Randy (Maurine) Olson, Julie (LD) Lyons, and Susan (Tom) Kuramata of Mesa.

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