Cover photo for Edwin Newton Smith's Obituary
Edwin Newton Smith Profile Photo

Edwin Newton Smith

August 11, 1928 — February 13, 2022

Edwin Newton Smith

My dad’s name is Edwin Newton Smith aka “Dude” and “Ed”. His father gave him the name “Dude” as a 3-year-old young boy, his Uncle Buck sent him a cowboy outfit with chaps, vest, and cowboy hat - once he put it on, his dad called him a dude and it stuck for the rest of his life.  With his family that is what his name was.  When he moved down from Oregon here to Lincoln, the people here all knew him as Ed.

  • He was born on August 11, 1928, in South Gate, California next door to the place he lived most of his early life.  And he died here in Lincoln, California on February 13, 2022.  He lived 93 years and always reminded us that he had lived a full and wonderful life.  No regrets.
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  • He grew up in South Gate, California for most of his early years and graduated from South Gate High School in 1946 where he was a star football player for the school (at least I thought so, based on his stories).  He had an older brother Jack Lee Smith (deceased) and a younger sister Mildred Smith Dewert (living in Colorado now).  He also lived a few years in Las Vegas, Nevada due to his father’s work on Hoover Dam and as a Railroad Engineer and he lived about a year in Oklahoma as a teenager with his Uncle Buck.  He and his brother Jack were 18 months apart and so they were best friends for life.  Jack was always the instigator and Dude would follow along, getting him in trouble most of his life.  His little sister came along 3 years later, and they always loved each other very much.
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  • He was a high school graduate, and no other education, just the hard knock education of life.  Which he lived so well.  He was such an easy-going guy trying to make it in life.
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  • His Profession - My dad worked for 35 years at Safeway – He was a manager at several stores, and assistant manager at other stores in the southern California area, but his true love was working as a produce manager for Safeway.  I think this was what he loved doing and he was very good at it.  He knew when fruit was just right to be used in his fabulous fruit salads.  – After he retired and moved to Oregon, he worked at the Cole M Rivers Fish Hatchery at Lost Creek Lake.  He loved being outside and his job was cleaning the ponds.  It was hard work, but he so enjoyed this time, however it was cut short when my mom came down with Alzheimer’s and he turned his attention to her.
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  • He married Audrey Cleone Gordon on July 25, 1948 in Huntington Park, California and then raise his family (in order of birth timeline) – Pamela Christine [Smith] Harmon (husband Philip Harmon), Cheryl Cleone Smith (deceased), Jana Kay [Smith] Locke -- Grandchildren being Kristen Deanne [Harmon] Worden (husband David Worden), Steven Matthew Harmon (wife Meredith [Chew] Harmon), Alisha [Locke] Gros (husband Chuck Gros), Ryan Locke, and Stevie Casey Harris – Great Grandchildren in order of age– Jacob Ryan Worden, James Edwin Gros, Tyler Christian Worden, Preston Eugene Gros (deceased), Samuel Mason Worden, Isabelle Deanna Gros, Keira Jane Harmon, William Thacker Gros, plus another on the way.  He and Audrey made their first home in Huntington Park and then moved to Whittier, California in 1954.  We lived a wonderful life there, but when he retired, mom and dad moved to Trail, Oregon and built his dream retirement home, a log home.  They were so excited to be able to do their dream.
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  • His spiritual journey - My mom took all of us girls to church every week and made sure we were a part of the local church.  One day in the garage my sister Cheryl and Dad were talking, and she was the one that led my dad to the Lord.  Soon after that he started coming to church with the whole family.  It was such a special time for us all to have the whole family being a part of the church community.  He was soon baptized and dedicated his life to the Lord.  So, after my sister passed at the age of 18 he had a lot of questions (I am sure) and he drifted slowly away from the church, but I still knew the Lord’s hand was on him and guiding him in all his life’s decisions.  So thankful for that!
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  • Some thoughts about his character - He was the kindest man and had such joy and optimism in all he did.  He was a very creative man -- woodworking, stained glass, drawing cartoons Mickey Mouse and Goofy, train setup including tunnel and houses/roads under the Christmas tree for us little girls.  Enjoyed being with people, going out to dinner or making dinner for the family.  He was a great cook.  He used recipes as a starting point, but really cooked by taste. Barbeque was his specialty-his special sauce was something to die for and he taught my mom how to cook making her the great cook also.  As his old body wore out, you could see that he missed doing all the creative things he had once done, but he still had lots of friends and family, which was such a blessing to him.
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  • He loved music and recently he had been given an Alexa where he could just say “Play Don Williams” or “Play Floyd Cramer” or “Play Eddy Arnold” or “Play Jerry Reed”.  Every afternoon I would come into the dining room area and his music would be playing.  He knew every word to all the songs.  My sister and I remember him always whistling in the shower or in the garage growing up.  He would always be there building and woodworking while we were going to bed, we would fall to sleep listening to him.   He made several pieces that still survive in our home today – great reminders of the creativity and love he put into each one.   He loved going to plays, theater, the Amphitheater Summer Shows with all the singles while he lived here in Sun City.
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  • Some Thoughts - (1) In our home in Whittier, California he added a large patio out back and then put up a wood patio cover, everyone enjoyed family get together’s, reunions, birthday parties, showers, and weddings in this beautiful space for many years, (2) He also put in an above-ground pool, but he wanted it flush with the ground. Well, he didn’t quite get it quite flush with the ground, but he got it halfway down into the ground.  He dug and dug and then hit hard pan.  So, are you wondering how he got rid of the dirt from all this digging?  He would fill up a wheelbarrow and have his daughters truck it out to the front yard where he built a small berm.  So, we worked on our pool together!  Once he hit the hard pan, he gave up and so we had a pool halfway out and halfway in, but it worked.  He then built a deck at the back of the pool where it was even with the pool - people could jump in and/or sunbath.  The crazy things he did, and mom went along with every one of them (3) After he retired, he moved to Oregon bought a 10-acre piece of land with wonderful views in Trail, Oregon and bought a Log Home Kit.  He hired a construction company which put in the foundation for the garage and house, and they put up the log walls.  The rest of the house, roof, interior walls, plumbing, electricity, heating, and complete finish of the house was completed by him and my mom.  He made bathroom cabinets, put in wood flooring, most everything you could think of to finish a house.  It was such a beautiful and warm home, and he and mom were so proud of it.
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  • What made him tick - Family and Friends -- He just loved being around people and kabitzing with them and teasing daughters, grandkids, and great grandkids and everyone else.  At the singles club he made it a point to root for the team that everyone else was against – that was his way to make the game fun - especially if it was the 49’s vs the Rams.  The day he died was Super Bowl Sunday and I looked on the Web to see the score (since his Rams were playing) with just 6 minutes left.  The score was Cincinnati Bengals 20 and LA Rams 16 – I thought “Dad you need to do something; your team is losing”.  So, the next time I looked later that day the Rams had won.   
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  • His Legacy - A family man, supportive of family in all circumstances.  Some were good situations (weddings, birthday parties, births of grandkids and great grandkids) and some were hard situations (the death of his daughter, Cheryl, taking care of Mom with Alzheimer’s for 20 years).  Always ready to tease, joke, play pranks on people in his fun easy going way.  He brought joy into our lives by his comments and attitude towards life.  He was a model of commitment to my mom and his Oregon Family.  He did not let life or aging get him down.  What a legacy for us all to try to emulate!
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Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, March 5, 2022

3:00 - 4:30 pm (Pacific time)

Sun City Lincoln Hills Orchard Creek Lodge Ballroom

965 Orchard Creek Lane, Lincoln, CA 95648

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