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Elmer L. Smith

Elmer L. Smith

Elmer L. Smith

- December 28, 2020

Elmer L. Smith, 79, lost his fight with COVID pneumonia on December 22, 2020 at the Fort Meade VA Hospital in Sturgis.

He was born in Lead, SD to Velma and Ralph Smith on January 19, 1941 as the youngest of four. His family moved in 1942 to Rapid City where he grew up and later enlisted in the United States Navy. He wore his “SeaBees” hat pridefully. He received commendations for his work in Okinawa before his honorable discharge from reserves in 1964. Elmer continued his work in construction owning his own company, E. L. Smith Concrete Construction that he and wife Ella operated in and around the Black Hills area. He also had an admirable career in law enforcement with the RCPD from 1964-1969 and was called back in as reserve to help during the 1972 Rapid City flood. Elmer was Chief of Police in Box Elder from the mid 70’s through to the mid 80’s. When he retired, he and his second wife Claudia, used his craftmanship in woodworking to build a small business for themselves.

Elmer was married to Ella Smith for 27 years and they had four children, Wanda, Alan, Annette, and Bob. He later married Claudia Wouden with her children, Callie, London, and Pete. Claudia and Elmer were together for 29 years before her passing in 2019.

When the kids were young, each holiday meant Elmer jamming on his guitar and singing with his cousin and friends for his family. Boating and camping were a regular family event. He loved his many years of racing at the Black Hills Speedway, (those hot pink cars) ice racing and was a member of Performance Car Club of the Black Hills. Elmer was known for several years as “Concrete” to his CB Buddies.  He later enjoyed traveling to warmer climates with Claudia and playing cards and Sunday brunch with family and friends. If he did not head south for the winter, he met regularly for coffee with his friends and occasionally breakfast too. Rarely a day went by that he was not around one of his kids. He enjoyed hanging out at “Alan’s shop”, hunting, and helping Nick with projects. He frequented local auctions as a favorite past time and was one heck of a cribbage player. His presence will be missed by many.

Grateful for sharing in his life are his children Wanda (Bryan) Harvey, Alan (Terri) Smith, Annette (Jeff) Brant, Bob (Mary) Smith, Callie (Nick) Carlson, London (Chris) Gabel, Pete Wouden; 18 grandchildren; 16 great grandchildren; sister-in-law, Shirley; brother-in-law, Cole; Ella and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Ralph and Velma Smith; his siblings, Roebetta Roth, Agnes Ehli of Rapid City, and Dale Smith of Lander WY; and his wife, Claudia.

A Veterans Service of Interment will be held at the Black Hills National Cemetery at a later date for immediate family due to pandemic restrictions.  A celebration of life gathering will be held on Sunday January 3rd at the North Haines Volunteer Fire Department from 3 to 5pm with masks provided. There will be an additional outdoor gathering scheduled for later this summer.

Friends and family may sign his online guestbook and leave written condolences for the family at blackhillsfuneralhome.com.

Phone number: 605-347-4455
E-mail: [email protected]
Address: 1612 Junction Avenue, Suite #1
Sturgis, SD 57785