Leslie “Don” Smith, 72, of Pima, entered into eternal rest on May 9, 2018 in Tucson, Arizona. He was born May 4, 1946 in Hugo, Oklahoma to Dillard L. & Annie Melton Smith.
After high school, Leslie proudly served his country by enlisting in the United States Army where he served in Vietnam for three years earning his Vietnam Service Medal, two Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart. He then went on to college for two years after which he began working for Phelps Dodge. After a few years of working he became the Power Plant Maintenance Supervisor where he stayed until retiring.
In March of 1970 Don married the love of his life, Peggy J. Rice in Morenci, Arizona. They were blessed with five children; Shawn M., Dillard L., Carrie J., Leslie D. II and Rebecca K. Smith.
Don had numerous hobbies and interests such as; hunting, fishing, football, baseball, golf, camping and being with friends. He said that some of the meaningful events in his life were "my marriage to Peggy, my children, my grandchildren and my retirement!" Don was also a member of the Morenci Fire Department, Elks Club, Lions Club and the Greenlee Country Club.
Anyone that knew Don knew that he had a many special ways of expressing himself which we won’t go into details about. That said, one of his grandchildren recently wrote something that all of his family thought of him: “To the strongest man ever, my moral compass, my shoulder to lean on, the ones whose footsteps I carefully followed, the biggest hearted man you’ll ever know, the one I have and will always look up to.”
He is survived by his loving wife of 48 years, Peggy, his children; Shawn (Natalie) Smith of Seattle, WA, Dillard (Lisa) Smith of Fountain Hills, AZ, Carrie (Juan) Ortiz of Morenci, AZ, Les Smith of Safford, AZ and Rebecca Smith of Clifton, AZ, his siblings; Jesse (Jackie) Smith of Somerset, KY, Butch (Sherry) Smith of Kerriville, TX and Linda Campbell of Leander, TX, his grandchildren; John, Gabbi, Michelle, Chris, Elijah, Michael, Dillard, Bubba, Athena, Joshua, Reyna, Makayla and Tatum, God-son Charles D. Bitner IV, eleven great-grandchildren with two more on the way and numerous nieces and nephews.
Leslie was preceded in death by his parents, Dillard Smith and Annie Mae Smith, his sister Sissy Smith and brother Ronnie Dale Smith, brother-in-law Bruce Campbell and his grandson Bryan Ortiz.
A Memorial Service for Don will be held on Sunday, May 27th at 11:00 a.m. at the McDougal’s Caldwell Chapel with full military honors by the Gila Valley Honor Guard.