Samuel G. Smith
Samuel G. Smith, 78 of Springfield passed away at 6:59 am Friday, July 9, 2021 in his home.
Sam was born October 3, 1942 in Neosho, MO to Sam and Mildred Smith. Upon graduation from high school he turned down a baseball scholarship to the University of Tulsa and enlisted in the Army. He attended basic training in Ft. Leonard Wood, MO. He served for nearly 34 years and earned himself a reputation as a soldier's soldier. After serving two tours in Vietnam, he quickly rose through the ranks. Sam served in multiple posts throughout the US, Korea, Panama and Germany. His concern for his soldiers was evident during Operation Desert Shield when he deployed to Saudi Arabia to check on their moral and welfare during a time of rising tensions in world affairs. He retired in January 1994 as the FORSCOM Command Sergeant Major. Although quite humble about his accomplishments, he received numerous awards throughout his storied career. These awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, and Drill Sergeant Badge.
Sam married Marilynne Davis in 1963. Together they raised two girls, Jill and Sandra, and remained together until her passing in 2003. In 2005 Sam was reunited with his 3rd grade girlfriend, Anita Goodwin. They married May 20, 2005 and were together until his passing.
Throughout retirement Sam enjoyed golfing, spending time with family and friends, and watching or attending any sporting event he could. Always the ultimate fan, Sam never missed a chance to watch his Cardinals on TV or attend his grandkids games.
Although a man of few words, Sam had a heart of gold. Those that were blessed to know him truly loved him.
In addition to his parents and first wife, Sam was preceded in death by a brother, Bill Smith.
He is survived by his wife of 16 years, Anita (Goodwin Peck) Smith; daughters and their husbands, Jill and John Townsend of Elcon, NC, Sandra and Michael Ramirez of Hinesville GA, and Jymi and Gerry Neidig of Ozark, MO; grandsons, Matthew Townsend, Jakob, Josh and Jonah Neidig; granddaughters, Samantha Pharris and Bryanna Ramirez; a great-grandson, Traci Pharris and a great-granddaughter, Alexis Townsend.
Memorial services will be Monday, July 26, 2021 at 11:00 AM in Gorman Scharpf Brentwood Chapel. Burial will follow with full military honors at Missouri Veterans Cemetery.
Memorial donations are suggested to Ronald McDonald House of the Ozarks, 949 E. Primrose St., Springfield, MO 65807 or to the Gary Sinise Foundation, P.O. Box 368, Woodland Hills, CA 91365.
Posted online on July 15, 2021