Obituary: LeRoy Dean “Lee” Smith
March 29, 1946 – April 7, 2023
LeRoy Dean “Lee” Smith passed away April 7, 2023 at home near Silt, Colorado after a brief illness. He was 77. Lee was born March 29, 1946 to Herbert and Alice (Gilbert) Smith in Denver and grew up in Broomfield.
Lee graduated from Colorado State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in accounting. In early 1969, he enlisted in the army and spent two years in Korea.
February 5, 1972, Lee married Mary Bendik and had two children, Adriane and Brian. In 1981, they moved to New Castle where Lee started a long career in the business office at Colorado Mountain College in Glenwood Springs, retiring after almost 24 years. Mary passed away September 10, 2000.
Everyone knows Lee’s love for baseball. He played on his older brother’s team even when he was too young and too small. He played through college, then coached city league youth baseball in New Castle and was instrumental in redesigning the baseball fields near Elk Creek.
Lee was a great storyteller and was known for his dry wit. He was a joy to be around. He wrote three children’s stories with Kathi. Two, Double Eagles and Augie’s Stash, have been published.
For years, Lee volunteered at the New Castle LiftUp food pantry. He loved bowling with his friends. His favorite past time in summer was going to the mountains, always returning with a pickup load of firewood.
Lee loved to travel including cruising to Alaska, exploring Australia and diving on the Great Barrier Reef, skydiving, riding trains and traveling by car all over the western US.
Survivors include his partner of 22 years, Kathi Arthur; daughter Adriane (Damon) Mitchell, son Brian (Chelsea) Smith, step-son Matt Wassenaar, step-daughter Piper (Travis) Ward and sister-in-law Margaret (Frank) Benavidez. His ten grandchildren were his greatest joy: Alicia Pressler, Angeline and Herbie Mitchell; Maya, Xander and Holden Smith; Braiden, Lauryn, Luvlyn and Jersey Ward. He will be missed by numerous other family and special friends.
Lee was preceded in death by his parents, wife Mary, brothers Herbert Smith Jr. and Charles Smith, and brother-in-law, Mike Bendik.
No memorial service is planned. Cremation has taken place. Contributions in Lee’s name may be made to your local dialysis center or kidney foundation in recognition of their good works.
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