Salado loses friend In death of Coach Smith
Services celebrating the life of U.G. “Coach” Smith, 81, will be 5:30 p.m. Sept. 5 at Heartfield Funeral Home in Belton with Rev. Skip Blancett officiating. Burial will follow immediately after at the Salado Cemetery.
Coach died Sept. 1 at home in his beloved Salado. He was born Ulysses Grant Smith in Dexter, MO, to Charles Judson Smith and Myrta Dyer Smith. He lived and attended school in Urich, MO. After graduating, he joined the United States Army.
Coach received many medals and recognitions while serving his country in the army for over 22 years, but he was most proud of the admiration and loyalty he earned while seeing beside his troops during his many stints in Korea, Japan, and Europe.
After retiring as an officer from the military, Coach eagerly began his life as a teacher and coach. At age 42, he was the oldest enrolled college freshman when he entered The University of Nebraska at Omaha. He coached m Slater, MO and Chadwick Preparatory School in Palos Verdes, CA, before coming to Salado, to begin hi Te a tenure. He left Salado and was principal/coach in Jarrell, TX and Santo, TX before ending his career in Moran, TX.
Coach’s proudest moment was the renaming of the Salado High School gym, “The Coach Smith Gym” in recognition of his many years of unwavering support and enthusiastic attendance of all Salado athletics, most particularly girls’ basketball.
Coach returned to Salado to begin his last adventure, business. He owned and operated Salado Hardware, Salado Car Wash, Salado Texaco, Rogers Laundry Mat, Bartlett Dairy Queen and his favorite, Salado Dairy Queen. Coach also owned a restaurant in Missouri. He was proud of his membership as a Master Mason as well as a York Rite 32nd Degree Shriner.
Coach was preceded in death by his devoted brother and partner Charles Edward Smith, also sister, Myrta Hill.
Coach is survived by his wife, Lou Ann McQuery Smith, son Dezri Grant Smith, daughter Myrta Ann Hodge and husband Claude, daughter Kathy Lou Rutherford and husband Wayne, and daughter Penny Sue Curry and husband Ron. A brother, Ronald J. Smith of Salado, three sisters, Katherine Louise Melchiorre, Marjorie Sterling Menenhall both of Rohnert Park, CS and Alice Elizabeth “Betty” Smith of Kansas City, MO. Coach leaves behind a living legacy of 15 great-grandchildren who loved their “Pa-Pa” dearly.
Memorials may be made to The Soaring Eagle Scholarship Fund at Salado High School started by Coach Smith to support aspiring young athletes.
Visitation is 6-8 p.m. on Sept. 4. At the funeral home in Belton.