Howard Dennis Smith Obituary

Description: Howard Dennis Smith Obituary... Our Heartfelt Condolences To His Loved Ones...

Published: 01/17/2024
Byline: SECO News

Howard Dennis Smith

May 5, 1947 – January 10, 2024



Howard Dennis Smith, 76, of Rocky Ford, CO, passed away Wednesday, January 10, 2024 at Parkview Medical Center in Pueblo, CO. He was born Monday, May 5, 1947 to Howard & Helen (Mason) Smith in La Junta, CO.

Dennis was the oldest sibling to Russell Smith, Greg Smith, and Rebecca (Mark) Osborn. He grew up in Rocky Ford and enjoyed playing sports and his many friends and antics. He held a paper route with the Rocky Ford Daily Gazette from the 3rd grade until his freshman year in high school. He graduated from Rocky Ford High School in 1965. Dennis served the Army during the Vietnam War in the 1st Cavalry Combat Tracker Team from 1966-1968.

After a variety of jobs in local businesses, including the Santa Fe Railroad, 1st Industrial Bank, KAVI Radio, and Rocky Mt. Mobile Homes, he ran for Otero County Treasurer in 1978. In 1979 he began serving as Treasurer and Public Trustee and remained in office until retiring in 2022. Dennis was the longest serving Colorado elected official at the time of his retirement. His great love was officiating youth sports all over the state of Colorado. He earned hall of fame awards for basketball, baseball and football for his officiating and made lifelong friends. Dennis loved working with youth, being a vital member of the Arkansas Valley community and serving the public his entire adult life. He married Ruth Skuderna (Lewis) in 1971, together they had 2 children, Stephanie & Jeff and resided in Rocky Ford. Dennis and Karen Hugh (Kelley) married in 1982 and soon after began raising nephews Luke & Lance Smith in La Junta. Dennis and Cindy Smith (Morgan) married in 2003 (div 2018) and they resided in Swink. In 2022 Dennis moved to Cottonwood Assisted Living in Rocky Ford after complications with knee surgery. Here he enjoyed visits and quickly made many friends.

Dennis is survived by his children, Stephanie (Bryan) Fritz, their children, Rachel (Cristian) Ortega, Naomi and Hunter; Jeff Smith with children Chays & Caevan; Luke (Melissa) Smith, and their son Everett; Lance (Jolene) Smith, and their son Stanley; and his caregiver Cindy Smith. In addition to these 7 grandchildren, he has 1 great-grandchild, Luca and many nieces, nephews, extended family, and friends. He was proceeded in death by his parents and his brother Russell Smith.

Committal service will be held Saturday, February 10, 2024 at 10:00 a.m. at Rocky Ford Cemetery with military honors, followed by a Celebration of Life at 11:00 a.m. at the Gobin Building located at 105 N. Main St. in Rocky Ford with Pastor John Dell of First Christian Church of Rocky Ford officiating. Reception to follow at Gobin Building.

In lieu of flowers memorial donations can be made in Dennis's name to either Cottonwood Ridge Assisted Living at or to American Legion Post #8, Rocky Ford at: PO Box 125, Rocky Ford, CO 81067 direct or through the funeral home.

Online condolences may be made at Peacock-Larsen Funeral Home & Arkansas Valley Crematory is in charge of arrangements.

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