SALEM — Gary D. “Rat” Smith, 75, of Salem, Illinois passed away at his residence, June 3, 2021.
Born December 6, 1945, in Salem, he was the son of Forrest Dwayne Smith and Ruby E. (Burroughs) Smith Butler.
Gary played football in high school and was honorably entered into the SCHS Football Hall of Fame. Following high school, he attended Kaskaskia College. Throughout his life, he worked for the railroad, cattle farmed and worked as a janitor for St. Theresa Catholic Church and grade school. He also was a St. Theresa assistant basketball coach. His hobbies included collecting trains, dealing guns as a gunsmith, and raised coon dogs. He was a veteran of the Army National Guard serving from 1966-1972.
Surviving are his daughters Kellie (Chris) Smith-Johnson and Cheri (Charlie Casner) Smith-Collier both of Salem along with grandchildren Courtney (Jordan Shepard) Smith, Dalton Dobyns, Madison Rodotz, Hailey Johnson, Zachary Johnson, Valerie Collier and Shelby Johnson. Also his great-grandchildren, Gavin, Ambri, Jayci and Miyah Shepard.
Also left to mourn his passing are his siblings Chris Starnes, Kevin Smith, Eric (Lilian) Smith, Rodney (LuAnn) Smith, Lisa Smith, Larry (Nancy) Smith of Salem, Michael D. (Suzanne) Butler of Columbus, OH and his step-mother Mary Smith, and his former wife Shelley Bateman Steber of Olney, IL.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his best friend and business partner, Ron Snyder.
Gary chose simple cremation with a Celebration of Life Service to be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 13, 2021, in the chapel of Sutherland – Rankin Funeral Home, 310 N. Broadway, P.O. Box 97, Salem, IL, 62881, with military honors accorded at the funeral home by the Salem American Legion Post #128. The family request you gather with them to visit from 1 p.m. until the service hour.
The family suggests memorials be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and will be accepted by the Sutherland – Rankin Funeral Home, entrusted with the family’s care.