Eddie Milton Smith Jr., 51, was born to Eddie Smith Sr. and Jane (Rusch) Smith on July 6, 1964.
He was the older of two children. He was born in Sedalia, Missouri. Junior was a lifelong resident and graduated from Warsaw High School in May, 1982. He passed away February 18, 2016.
Junior was saved in August of 1977 at the age of 13 years old in a revival at Freedom Missionary Baptist Church, where he later joined as a member and was baptized at Fairfield Landing in Little Pomme River. Junior was the Sunday school teacher for many years and later was ordained as a deacon of the church. Some years after, he moved his membership to Fristoe Missionary Baptist Church.
Junior joined the Navy after graduation in 1982. He served active duty in the Navy for 3 ½ years then switched to reserve. He later transferred to the Air Force and served a total of 26 years before retiring on May 10, 2009. Junior served his country with great dignity and pride. After coming home from the Navy he worked as a carpenter building houses, and then worked at Hilty’s Quarry. Several years passed and he started working at MoDot in Warsaw and later transferred to Osceola, where he eventually became shed foreman, for a total of 16 years at MoDot. He was scheduled for early retirement in four years. He would have been 56 years old. He met Laveta (Kauffman) Smith, the love of his life, on a blind date, September 21, 1986. After 4 years of dating, they were married on October 6, 1990. To this union two children were born; Amanda Jane and Hunter Renea. He enjoyed taking his girls hunting and working on his farm. He loved his family and sacrificed many things for their happiness.
Junior was an avid hunter and fisherman. He killed his first squirrel with a 22 rifle at the age 5. He loved all kinds of hunting. Traveling to Canada to fish and visit family was something that he did regularly. He also loved mushroom hunting, and spending time with his family and friends. His favorite place was in the woods. He took pride in his farm and taking care of his land that he and Laveta bought in April 1990. He made food plots and enjoyed watching the wildlife.
Junior was a wonderful son, husband, father, brother, grampy, uncle, and friend. He was always there to lend a helping hand if anyone needed him. His greatest joy was when his only granddaughter, Amelia Jane, was born. He was able to spend two precious months with her and many memories were made. He was so proud of his little “Milly Vanilly”.
Above all, he loved his Lord. He served Him faithfully and passionately. He followed God’s leadership to the very best of his ability, believing and abiding in God’s word. Junior will be sorrowfully missed by his family and friends. He would want to be remembered as a God fearing man that has laid up many prayers in heaven for his family, friends, and acquaintances that crossed his path.
Junior is survived by his loving wife, Laveta of 26 years, daughters Amanda Jane and Hunter Renea, and granddaughter Amelia Jane. His grandmother Shirley Rusch; father Eddie Sr. and mother Jane Smith; sister Kimberli (Sissie), her husband Jeff Greer, and nephews Mitchell and Riley; Brother-in-Laws Alvin Kauffman, his wife Sherry, nephew Mattison, his fiancé Haley, great-niece Kyleigh, great-nephews Karsen, Tucker, and Trace, nephew Todd, his wife Becca, great-nieces Audra, Aleah, and Keziah, nephew Charles, niece Hydie, and great-niece Brenlee; Calvin Kauffman, his wife Kelly, niece Jennifer Fraizer, her husband Richie, great-niece Alexandra, niece Samantha Brannock, her husband Robbie, nephews Christian, Riley, Eli, and niece Annie; Ivan Kauffman, his wife Cheryl, nephews Derek, his fiancé Kaelie, Deven, Caleb, and Cadan. Junior was also survived by eight sets of uncles and aunts, and many cousins in Canada.
Junior was preceded in death by his grandparents, Hollis and Gladys Smith, and Ed Rusch; his uncle Lanny Smith; and father and mother-in-law Curt and Fern Kauffman.