Clark Arthur Smith, 95 of Cheyenne passed away peacefully at home with family by his side on November 19, 2020.
Clark was born in Pine Bluffs on January 8, 1925 to Ralph H. Smith and Bernice (Beatty) Smith . His grandparents, Hubert and Laura Burns Smith ( Laura Burns direct descendant to Robert Burns, the Scottish Poet who wrote “Auld Lang Syne”) moved his family from Kansas to homestead and ranch in Pine Bluffs.
Clark’s father, Ralph Smith, a rancher and champion Bronc Rider, rode in early Frontier Days and also broke polo horses for F.E. Warren.
While attending Cheyenne High, Clark was an all around talent in athletics, played jazz trombone, and started an aeronautical club winning many competitions. He also was a Champion Rifle Marksman in ROTC -7th Region.
In 1943, Clark graduated midterm at 17. Received an appointment to NACA, at Langley Field, VA. NACA was a precurser to what is known as NASA today in Houston, TX. He worked with aeronautical engineers designing WWII Fighter planes (P-51) and the XP63 which were flown in the biggest free Flight Wind tunnel.
Clark was later selected by the Army Air Corp college training Flight Officer Program at Beloit College and became a Cadet Colonel.
As a WWII Army Air Corp trained single engine pilot, Clark was tagged a “hot pilot” because he liked flying acrobatics in the Stearman and A-6.
In1945 Clark, a cadet Colonel was honorably discharged while training Chinese pilots at Luke Airfare Base in Arizona.
After College at University of Wyoming and Beloit College, Clark played jazz trombone with the Wayne Morrison Big Band around the state. He courted
Ann Dinneen (1947 Miss Frontier, and daughter of William J. Dinneen). They married during Lent with special permission from Bishop Hartman in 1951.
That same year, Clark was called back into service for the Korean War, at the Northeast Air Command, stationed in St. Johns Newfoundland with his wife, Ann and first born son, Clark Jr.
Clark & Ann moved back to Cheyenne and opened Clark Smith Real Estate office. He served in the Wyoming Legislature and was appointed FHA Director.
Clark and Ann had seven children, Clark Jr., Timothy, Christopher, Paul, Amy, Annie and William. Later, Clark was offered a position to develop golf courses in Albuquerque, New Mexico and California including Pebble Beach. While living in California, he also owned Clark Smith Chevrolet in Martinez, CA. Later Clark and Ann became licensed brokers, owned and operated a Century- 21 Real Estate office in the Bay Area of California.
When Clark & Ann moved back to Cheyenne, they opened up some of the first Century 21 and ReMax franchises. They also started the multiple listing exchange and Real Estate Auction business for BLM (Bureau of Land Management) Oil and Gas Leases.
Clark was involved in various civic organizations in CA & WY: Past President of Chamber of Commerce in Martinez, Director of Northern CA Board of Directors & Auctioneers Assoc. In Wyoming: Past Director Greater Cheyenne Kiwanis Club, Past President Cheyenne Auto Dealers Assoc. and appointed State Representative of the Governors Committee for the employment of the handicap.
Clark is survived by children, Tim Smith (Sue), Chris Smith (Diane), Paul Smith, Amy Smith Meier (Scott), Annie Smith Jackson (Edward) and William Burns Smith; grandchildren, Casey, Katie, and Alisa; step grandchildren, Jack, Maggie, Caroline; Micheal, Patrick, Philip; and great grandchildren: Eliza, Levi, Elsie, Harrison and Wyatt; and many nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Ann; and his son, Clark, Jr.
At 95, he still pulled out his trombone to play on special occasions. His favorite place to go was the Bunk House to hear the talented musicians and friends who always saluted him and thanked him for his service. Of course, his Saturday breakfast at the Country Club with son, Paul. He read profusely, biographies, journals, and history. He enjoyed working with his sons in Clark Smith & Sons Real Estate Business. Clark was honored to meet the Vice Commander General of 20th Air Force. He would get tears in his eyes when he talked of his family. He loved our Country and Wyoming as he exclaimed often in song “W-Y-O-M-I-N-G”.
Funeral liturgy will be held at St Mary’s Cathedral, 10:30 am Tuesday with Father August celebrating. Interment will be private.
Friends may contribute to Cheyenne Kiwanis Club, High School Jazz Bands , VFW, and Veterans of FE Warren, Old West Museum, Cheyenne Symphony, St Mary’s & Holy Trinity.