Services for Kerry Wayne Smith will be 1:00 p.m., Wed., Sept. 23rd, 2009 at First United Methodist Church with his pastor, Dr. Ray Crawford sharing words of comfort. Burial will follow at Woodlawn Cemetery under the direction of Rice Funeral Service. Friends may visit at the funeral home until 7:00 this evening with the family receiving visitors from 5:00 to 7:00. Kerry passed away Sat., Sept. 19th, 2009 while visiting in Fayetteville for an Arkansas Razorback football game. He was 46.
Born in Tulsa on Jan. 30th, 1963 to William and Barbara Jo (Masters) Smith, Kerry came to Claremore with his family in 1971. When just a teenager, in 1978, he began working at the bait shop. Though he was an avid sports fan and participant – wrestling, playing both baseball and football – he never missed a scheduled workday. He even had the activity bus pick him at work on his way to an out-of-town game. He graduated from Claremore High School in 1981 and attended Arkansas University the following two years. He and former schoolmate and friend, Tamara Gorman married Dec. 26th, 1981 in a Claremore ceremony. Home for the young couple was first Fayetteville and then Claremore.
Because of his strong work ethic and his love of the job and working alongside his mentor, B.M. “Pete” Watson, he chose to leave academics and enter the business world. Pete had a plan and Kerry was onboard with that plan. They would work together and then become partners. In 1991 Kerry became sole owner of the company that he and Pete had named National Bait and Tackle, often referred to as Nabatak. With Pete’s competent teaching and Kerry’s own entrepreneurial spirit, the business grew to a whole new level, becoming one of the largest wholesale and retail bait and tackle businesses in the nation. He also started a wholesale warehouse in Mountain Home, Arkansas.
In previous years Kerry served the community as Softball commissioner at Pecan Park. One of Claremore’s prominent business leaders, he was member of the Claremore Chamber of Commerce and also a member of Ducks Unlimited.
A stand-up guy and a loyal friend, Kerry is survived by many whose lives are better for their relationships, whether they be personal, business, sports or community. Those who wish to honor Kerry’s memory may choose to do so with a memorial gift to Claremore American Legion Baseball c/o First Bank OK, PO Box 888, Claremore, OK 74018.
Even more devoted to his family, Kerry is survived by his wife, Tamara of their home in Claremore; children Kara Rowe and husband, Brandon, also of Claremore, Eric Smith of Fayetteville, Arkansas, and Cameron Smith, also of the home; his grandson, Connor Rowe, Claremore; his parents, Bill and Barbara Smith of Claremore; sister Dava Baldridge and her husband, Archie, also of Claremore; maternal grandmother Zella Masters of Grove; father and mother -in-law Richard and Maureen Gorman of Eureka Springs; brother-in-law Thomas Gorman and wife, Alicia of Yukon; three nieces, Tara West and husband, Monty, of Tulsa, Jo Johnson and husband, Nathan, of Claremore; and Kelsie Gorman of Yukon; nephew Jacob Gorman, also of Yukon; and great niece Isabella West of Tulsa. He was preceded in death by his maternal grandfather, Clarence Masters, paternal grandparents, William Smith, Sr. and Mattie Smith; and his mentor, Pete Watson.
Services under the direction of Rice Funeral Service of Claremore, OK;