Born: October 26, 1961 - Deceased: August 8, 2023
Richard Wayne Smith, 61 of Fairview Heights, beloved father, brother, and friend to many passed away on Tuesday, August 8, 2023 at Missouri Baptist Hospital in St. Louis. Rick was born on October 26, 1961 in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. The son of the late Bobby G. Smith Sr. and late Rita J. (Obermark) Smith. Rick was with the Smithton School District as their Custodial Engineer. Born in Cape Girardeau but raised in Granite City, IL. Rick went to Emerson grade school which was not so much of an organized sports school but, Rick was an all around sports kid. When any sporting event in the neighborhood was going on with the local kids. Rick would be out playing either football, baseball, corkball, anything with a bat or ball. That”s when he wasn’t fishing with or without his dad. When he got to junior high he was always a key player in both baseball and football. Rick’s love of school academics was a little different. Early in Rick’s childhood it was apparent that he was reading impaired due to not actually being diagnosed but with dyslexia, later in life. This just made Rick more determined to learn how to remember and comprehend things a little more different than other individuals. This leading to Rick being more of a jock persona which gave him less conflict than the academic way. Eventually, having Rick get his GED from being so far behind in his school studies to finish high school. After school it didn’t take Rick long to get out of Granite City and venture out to the West. He traveled throughout the Western coast areas spending time in California, Colorado and Utah. Eventually, ending up in Park City, Utah where he worked in the hotel industry doing maintenance and waitering. This is where Rick’s love for the outdoors came into full view. He picked up skiing, hiking, biking, anything outdoors. He was hooked. Rick became an avid skier and picked a new avenue for fishing with bigger and better places to do it in. Being the outgoing person that Rick was, he eventually caught the eye of a young outdoors and adventurous lady named Yvette Salazar. They lived in Heber, Utah, and both worked in the Park City, UT area working in the hotel industry. After a few years of marital bliss, a son was born into the mix, Nico. With all this happiness of being married and having a son. The joy didn’t last for long. Sadly, Rick and Yvette divorced. This is when Rick moved to Hermosa Beach, California and started working for Delta Airlines as an Airplane Linesman directing aircraft on the ground. In his free time he would find time to go see his son as much as he could. His love for skiing and outdoor activities still was a major factor in his life. Rick stayed in California working in the Airline industry till around the time of 9/11 when many of the airlines were laying off staff and Rick was caught up in that circumstance. So he decided to move back to his hometown of Granite City. Starting working in the Construction industry as a laborer, and eventually with his tenacity and hard work ended up becoming a foreman on a few of his last jobs that he had worked on. After which, he wanted to get out of the hard working job of construction and find himself a little more laid back job. At the same time he wanted to get out of his hometown of Granite City and moved to the Fairview Heights, IL, where when he wasn’t working, he was still trying to get some fishing and camping in, at his favorite spot on the Carlyle Lake/Keyesport area. Finally, ending up finding his next and final position as a Custodial Engineer, First at High Mount School for a few years and ending up at Smithton Elementary, Rick loved repairing anything he could get his hands on, and helping friends and family with any household problems that needed to be fixed.
He will be remembered by his outgoing personality and the special times he shared with his many friends and family.
Rick is survived by and will be missed by his:
- Son Nico R. Smith
- Bobby G. Smith Jr, of Swansea, IL
- Steven W. Smith, of Swansea, IL
- Gerald P. (Morgan) Smith of Swansea, IL
- Patrick Naler
- Gerald P. Naler-Smith
- Marie Smith
- Samantha Smith
In remembrance of Rick’s life:
Memorial celebration will be held on Saturday, August 19, 2023 from 11:00 am until the food,drink, and reminiscing of Rick runs out at Keyesport Cabins, 203 Whig St. in Keyesport IL, 62251. All Memoriams are to be sent to the same address.