Gary W. Smith, age 71, of Grove, OK, passed away Thursday, April 23, 2020 at his home. He will be remembered as a loving Husband, Father, Brother, Grandpa, and friend to all that knew and loved him.
Gary William Smith was born August 6, 1948 in Dalhart, TX. His parents, James “Jelly” and Betty Smith raised him and his brother, Glen, in the panhandle of West Texas. Gary attended grade school in Cactus, TX and middle school and high school in Dumas, TX where he excelled in sports and was voted “Most Handsome” by his classmates. When he was 18, he married his daughters’ mother, Cheryl Bagwell of Dumas, Texas, and moved to Canyon, Texas to attend West Texas State University and raise his two adoring daughters, Sha Leigh and Kristi. He was a full-time student majoring in psychology and worked for the rail road and at The Pavilion. Upon graduation in 1972, he left Canyon and moved to Durant, OK, where his Uncle Dale provided him job opportunities and his Aunt Myrna nurtured him like her own son. Gary then met the love of his life, Barbara Talbert, and married her on December 6, 1973 in Frederick, OK. Gary and Barbara moved to Grove, OK in 1973 where he started his career in banking and where they raised their beloved son, Cory. After moving to Grove, he went to work for State Bank of Grove for six years before taking the position of President of Grand Lake Bank until 1998. Gary was a natural in the banking business and was blessed to cross paths with his dear friend, Ed Townsend, who brought Gary on as President of The Grove Local Oklahoma Bank, established in 2005, now Bank of Grand Lake.
Gary loved his family and bank family, as well as his community, and had no plans to retire from the work he enjoyed at Bank of Grand Lake. He loved having a role in helping his community make their home, business and financial dreams come true and enjoyed all the relationships he made with his customers throughout the years. He had the privilege of serving on several Boards of Directors over the years including Grove Lions Club, Grove Chamber of Commerce, Grove Integris Hospital, Har-Ber Village, and Oklahoma Water Resources. He was a member of Delaware Baptist Church.
Gary spent his career in bank management, but what he loved most was his family, his dogs, and spending time in his serene backyard where he and Barbara created a lovely garden and peaceful sanctuary filled with God’s beauty.
Survivors include his loving wife, Barbara Smith. Brother, Glen Smith and wife, Liz, of Denton, TX and Nephew, Parker Smith, of Dallas, TX, currently serving in the United States Army Germany and his fiancée, Laura Frazee. Daughters, Sha Leigh Clark and husband, Scott, of Sand Springs, OK and Kristi Murphey and husband, Alan, of Amarillo, TX. Four grandchildren , Austin Clark and Ashlynn Clark of Dallas and Caitlin Rhodes and Cooper Rhodes of Amarillo. Mother in-law, Helen Talbert of Durant, OK; Brother in-law, William S. Talbert and Margo and sister in- law, Janice Talbert.
Brother in-law and sister in-law, Rodney and Linda French, of Kingston, OK. Nieces Lindsey French and fiancée, Clint Hoffman and darling boy, Cooper Hoffman of Durant and Julie Sullivan and husband, Stacy of McCallister, OK and darling boy, Mason Choate. Nephew Billy Talbert and wife Amy and their sons Billy and Trevor of Moore, OK; Aunt Omega Floyd, many cousins; “special sister”, Judy Ball, and beloved fur babies, Mr. Happy and Rebel.
Because of Gary’s decision to ask Jesus to be his Lord and Savior we have peace knowing he is in heaven enjoying eternity with Jesus, his beloved son, Cory, and his parents, James and Betty Smith and father-in-law, William P. (Bill) Talbert.
The family suggests memorials be made to: Second Chance Pet Rescue of Grove and Grand Lake; 64301 E 290 Rd, Grove, OK 74344
Memorial service to be announced at a later date.
Gary will be laid to rest at Highland Cemetery in Durant, Oklahoma.
Arrangements entrusted to Nichols-Stephens Funeral & Cremation Services, Grove. Online condolences can be made at www.nicholsfuneralandcremation.com