Allyn “Al” Eugene Smith
Allyn Eugene Smith was born July 8, 1946 in St. John’s Hospital in Rapid City, SD to Merle Eugene Smith and Pauline Elizabeth (Laumer) Smith. He is the 3rd of 5 generations to carry the middle name of Eugene. It was a hot summer. He left the hospital late in the evening when it was cooler. At about 2 weeks he was eating homemade ice cream. His love of ice cream never faded.
When Al was 2 years old the family moved to Anchorage, AK. He was baptized April 11, 1948 in the Central Lutheran Church in Anchorage, AK. He was confirmed June 4, 1961 in the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Whitewood SD. One of his memories of Alaska was riding out into the wilderness on the train to camp and fish with Mom and Dad. Looking out of the train window he saw a moose come up out of the water with moss hanging from its massive horns.
In 1950, the family moved back to Whitewood Valley to the family farm. He hunted squirrels, helped his Grandpa Smith work with the horses doing field work, brought in the cows, and rode the horse with his 3 much younger siblings. He attended the Hathaway Elementary School, then Sturgis High School for 3 years, graduating from Spearfish High School because of district changes. He was a National Merit Scholar. He graduated in December 1968 from South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD with a degree in Journalism. He was a cartoonist for the college newspaper, the Collegian, where he had a reputation. You didn’t ask him to write a report if you wanted it to be short. Misspelled words on billboards and in newspapers always jumped out at him.
After graduation he traveled some, finally settling in Spearfish, SD where he met his future wife. He married Glynda Mae Mann on May 8, 1971 in the Spearfish Park. Their son, Ryan Eugene, was born March 29, 1976.
Shortly after marriage he started his long career in the trucking industry. The first truck was a logging truck. From there he started hauling flatbed freight throughout the entire United States. He was in every state but Hawaii, and the bridge was too long to get there. He got off the road for about 10 years to manage the Sturgis office of American Transport. The lure of the road got him out of the office and into a truck again. He trucked until he physically could not get into the truck.
Al turned a hobby of raising rabbits into a commercial rabbit business. A barn was built to house about 50 doe New Zealand White rabbits. Fryer rabbits were hauled to various packing plants in the region. The final delivery was to Toronto, Canada.
Cars were of great interest to him. He often would make a long list of all the cars he had owned. Some now would be classics. A 1939 Chevrolet, Tweety, was the first hot rod. A 1934 Nash was rescued out of a farm dump and brought back to life as a hot rod. Al was a member of the Counts of the Cobblestones Car Club. He enjoyed talking cars and all the friends the car hobby brought.
An interest in hand tooling leather gave him another hobby. He made and sold billfolds and checkbook covers personalized with the owner’s hot rod as the design. He also made many Bible covers, notebook covers, and a notebook to hold the pictures of the building of the 1934 Nash hot rod.
After retirement he needed something to do. That led to a booth at Traders Market. When the market was for sale, he purchased it. Al enjoyed visiting with all of the vendors, who became friends and family.
Al was a member of Grace Lutheran Church. He served on the Church Council.
Allyn “Al” Eugene Smith, 74, passed away April 30, 2021 in the Hospice House at Monument Health Sturgis Hospital.
He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Glynda Smith; his son, Ryan (Sherry) Smith; grandchildren, Zakary Eugene Smith and Hope Quorra-Ann Smith; sisters, Gail (Robert) Brunner of Henderson, NV and Gerry (Larry) Stumpf of Nisland, SD; and brother, Aaron Smith of Whitewood, SD.
He was preceded by his parents and his father and mother-in law, Dale and Leslie Mann.
Visitation will be 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 5 at Kinkade Funeral Chapel in Sturgis.
Funeral services will be at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 6, 2021 at Grace Lutheran Church in Sturgis with Pastor Kris Garlick. Burial will follow at Hope Cemetery in Newell.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established.
Condolences may be sent to the family at http://www.kinkadefunerals.com. Cards may be mailed to the Smith Family at PO Box 452, Newell, SD 57760.