Richard Smith

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Dr. Richard A. Smith, 79, of Sumner, died on Friday, July 7, 2017, at the Cedar Valley Hospice Home in Waterloo.

Memorial services will be held 1 p.m. Sunday, July 23, 2017, at the American Legion Hall in Sumner with Michael Schemmel officiating. Family inurnment will be held at Lima Cemetery, rural Wadena, with military rites by Thomas E. Woods Post #223, American Legion of Sumner. Visitation will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, July 22nd at Becker-Milnes Funeral Home in Sumner and for one hour preceding services at the Legion Hall on Sunday. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in his name to the Cedar Valley Hospice.

Richard Allen, son of Merrill R. and Myrtle A. (Cassutt) Smith was born February 11, 1938, at the family’s home in Guttenberg, Iowa. He received his education in the Elkader schools graduating from Central High School in 1956. Dick completed his pre-optometric studies at Upper Iowa University in Fayette and went on to receive his Doctor of Optometry degree from Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago on June 2, 1961. While at Illinois College of Optometry, Dr. Smith was president of the Hawkeye Club and a member of the Beta Sigma Kappa national graduate honor society. 

Following graduation Dr. Smith was licensed in Iowa and Minnesota. Dr. Smith enlisted in the Medical Service Corps of the United States Air Force as an optometrist and honorably served from August of 1961 to August of 1964 and the United States Air Force Reserves until being honorably discharged in July of 1967. 

While serving in the Air Force, he met Barbara J. Bracken and they were united in marriage on June 10, 1963, in Athens, Greece. Dr. Smith began his private practice in Sumner, Iowa in 1964 and practiced for 45 years prior to retiring in July 2009. He was a member of the American Optometric Association for 51 consecutive years. Dr. Smith was a volunteer for the American Red Cross Service to Military Families, Sumner City Council from 1986-1989, was an EMT with SEMS, a member of the American Legion of Sumner, Jaycees, and Lions Club. He was also a registered official with the Iowa High School Athletic Association for football in the 1960’s and 1970’s and was a baseball umpire. He enjoyed fishing and boating on the Mississippi River, golfing, watching birds and squirrels, but most especially enjoyed going to his grandkids activities.

In addition to his wife, Barb of Sumner, Dr. Smith is survived by his children, Erik (Lori) Smith of Cannon Falls, Minnesota, Tracy Smith of St. Paul, Minnesota, and Tony (Gina) Smith of Elkader; seven grandchildren, Kim (Trevor Boyd) Smith, Nicole (Jon Nelson) Smith, Bracken Smith, Muriel Smith, Logan Slaght, Sumner Smith, and Parker Smith; four great-grandchildren, Alyson, James, Brandon, and Olivia; one brother, Merrill (Elaine) Smith, Jr. of Mt. Dora, Florida; one sister, Jackie Moon of Omaha, Nebraska; one sister-in-law, Penny Bracken of Rochester, Minnesota, and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Donna Rippy; two brothers-in-law, Ted Rippy and Ronald Moon; and one great-grandson, Vladimir Boyd.

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