Herb S. Smelser of Steelville, MO was born on Thursday, July 23, 1936, in Wapato, WA to Leon R. Smelser and Georgia C. Smelser. He passed away on Sunday, January 2, 2022, at SSM Health St. Clare Hospital in Fenton, MO at the age of 85 years, 5 months, and 10 days.
Herbert graduated from high school in Port Orchard, WA. He married after graduation and to this union 3 sons were born. He enlisted in the United States Air Force in Seattle, WA in late 1954 where he worked as an aircraft electrical repairman until his honorable discharge in 1963. He then went back in as a civil servant and worked approximately 30 more years in the aircraft electronics field. He had top security clearance and was proud to have worked on projects such as the SR 71 aircraft. He married the love of his life, Carol Lee Coon, in Reno, NV, on December 7, 1986, and together they raised 2 children.
Herb, Carol, and family lived in Oregon House, CA before moving to Steelville, MO in 1994. He was a 4H leader and had many hobbies. He loved fishing, hunting and woodworking. He made several items of furniture for his family and enjoyed working with his hands. During the years, he worked at Arneson Sawmill, Perkins Lumber, and Chris’ Automotive. He also opened his own business, Herb’s Small Engine Repair. His family said he could do just about anything he tried and do it well. He loved his family and spending time with the grandchildren and great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents Leon and Georgia Smelser; parents-in-law Otis and Betty Lou Coon; son Vance Smelser, Sr.; brothers Walter Smelser, Wayne Smelser, and Jack Smelser; sisters Juanita Lyons, Helen Sipe, Dorothy Andrews, and Ruth McBride; and brother-in-law Bennie Allen Coon.
Herb is survived by his loving wife Carol Lee Smelser of Steelville, MO; children Roy Smelser of PA, Tracy Smelser of Ruidoso Downs, NM, Brian (Suzy) Barnes of Yuba City, CA,
Jenna (Joey) Richardson of St. James, MO; brother Joe Smelser of Sacramento, CA; grandchildren Vance Smelser, Jr. of St. James, MO, Mishell Smelser of Placerville, CA, Chris Shouse of Rolla, MO, Austin Barnes and Justin Barnes both of Yuba City, CA, Madison Summers of Steelville, MO, Connor Richardson and Adalee Richardson both of St. James, MO, Amber Blake of PA, and Christian Smelser of WA; great grandchildren of Vance Smelser, III, Lydia Smelser, Peyton Warren, Haylee Warren, all of Steelville, MO; Trey Stock and Conner Barwis both of Placerville, CA, Jacqueline Shouse of Rolla, MO; nieces, nephews, cousins, and many friends.
Visitation was from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM on Saturday, January 8, 2022, at Hutson Funeral Home, Steelville, MO. Funeral was at 12:00 PM on Saturday, January 8, 2022, at Hutson Funeral Home, Steelville, MO with Bro. Chris Richardson officiating. The family has chosen cremation as his final disposition. Memorials were suggested to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Arrangements under the care of Hutson Funeral Home, Steelville, MO.
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