William Allen “Jack” Smith
Jack was born to Joseph H. Smith and Theo Attebery Smith in Coaldale, Colorado. After graduating from Florence High School he joined the U.S. Marine Corps where he served three years and was stationed in Korea. After receiving an honorable discharge, he enrolled at Western State College in Gunnison on the G.I. Bill – he received his BA in teaching. It was at WSC that he met Barbara Boor. They married June 1, 1958 and spent 57 wonderful years together raising two sons, Rhett and Tod, in Rifle, Colorado. Jack partnered with Barbara’s father on the ranch, and later both Jack and Barbara started teaching in Garfield School District RE-2. Jack taught physical education and coached football, basketball (boys and girls), track (for one year), and baseball. He also helped coach Rifle girls golf last spring. He was voted “Teacher of the Year” four times.
After retiring from teaching, he continued coaching at Rifle High School and Coal Ridge High School. He also umpired baseball for nineteen years, leading to a 2011 induction to the Colorado Baseball Umpires Hall of Fame.
He loved all sports but was also an avid hunter and outdoorsman.
Jack always had a supply of Werthers hard candies in his pockets to give out. He especially enjoyed having the golf and basketball girls do a special hand routine with him to earn a treat. Generations of athletics have been affected by Jack’s infectious smile and wry sense of humor. No one met Jack without listening to one (or many) of his jokes or stories.
His greatest pleasure in retirement was golfing with his three grand children and seeing them become accomplished golfers because of his guidance. He and Barbara enjoyed taking them to junior golf tournaments–sometimes staying in their 5th-wheel camper right at the golf course–and always bringing home trophies.
Jack died on January 16, 2016 in Rifle, Colorado. He is survived by his wife Barbara; sons Rhett Smith, and Dr. Tod Smith and wife Melinda; grandchildren Kyler, Jacob, and Masi Smith; special nieces Kathy Leech and husband Rusty, Jacque Taylor, Pamela Taylor; and special nephew, Kent Taylor and wife Anna. He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Joann, and nephew, Kenneth Dotson.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 30, 2016 at 1:30 in the Jack Smith Gymnasium at Rifle High School. Sports attire would be appropriate dress for those attending. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Jack Smith Scholarship Fund at Rifle High School, 1350 Prefontaine Avenue, Rifle, CO 81650.
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