Richard Smits

Richard “Dick” Smits was born to Herman and Harriet Smits on February 7, 1932. He passed away on May 21 at the age of 82. Dick, loved by many, was a kind, loving, devoted, hardworking father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, and friend. He belonged to the Methodist Church. Growing up in Scranton, he was known as “Smitty”. He enjoyed time with his family, bowling, dancing, swimming, boating, waterskiing, tinkering with cars, lawn, gardening and landscaping. When time permitted he enjoyed vacationing. Dick had many talents and was a handyman that could do almost anything.

Dick had many jobs and businesses throughout his lifetime. Growing up he attended Scranton Elementary and High School, graduating in 1950. One of Dick’s favorite jobs was through high school running the movie theater in Scranton. In 1953, he enlisted in the United States Navy, serving as a radio operator, which included translating and relaying the Morris Code. Soon after he married Ruth Thompson and they had six children: Al, Gary, Paul, Pam, Carla, and John. During his marriage he worked for the Iowa DOT, sold insurance, and founded the business of R & R Transfer, which moved residents locally and state to state.

In 1974, Dick married Ruby Young Courtney. He soon added another child by adopting Ruby’s daughter, Jill. Still operating the business R & R Transfer, he became an agent for Iowa Parcel Service delivering auto parts statewide. After selling the business he moved to Rogers, Arkansas in 1980, operating a rabbit farm and working at Wal-Mart. Soon a promotion at Wal-Mart transferred him to Mineral Wells, Texas. After living there for five years, Dick decided to retire. Dick and Ruby always loved Arkansas so they moved back in 1990 making their home in Heber Springs, Arkansas. Restlessness in Dick helped him decide to venture into starting R & R Transportation, which served as an airport shuttle to and from Little Rock and the surrounding area. He then added to the business a freight and delivery service. When Dick’s health began to fail him three years ago, it brought an end to his hard work, dedication, and all the things he enjoyed doing.

Dick was preceded in death by his parents, Herman and Harriet Smits; brothers: Ted Smits and Herman Smits Jr.; and grandson, Joshua Smits.

He is survived by his loving wife of forty years, Ruby Smits; brothers: Bill (Judy) Smits of Osage Beach, Missouri and Jack (Laura) Smits of Louisville, Colorado; children: Alan (Wendi) Smits of Jefferson, Gary (Lena) Smits of Garfield, Arkansas, Paul (Peggy) Smits of Jefferson, Pam (Troy) Melton of Omaha, Nebraska, Carla (Larry) Voss of Greenfield, Jill (Sam) Massey of Judsonia, Arkansas, and John (Angie) Smits of Council Bluffs; sixteen grandchildren; twenty-five plus great-grandchildren; and numerous other relatives and friends.

A memorial service was held at Heber Springs Funeral Home May 23. A memorial service will be held at a later date in Iowa.

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Jefferson Bee & Herald
Address: 200 N. Wilson St.
Jefferson, IA 50129

Phone:(515) 386-4161