Gordon A. “Smitty” Smith was born Oct. 16, 1934 in Stettler, Alta. to Leonard and Margarite Smith. Smitty grew up in Stettler, where he took his schooling up to his adolescent years.
He then worked for his dad at Cockshutt Plow Agency setting up machinery and delivering supplies to stores.
Smitty spent his younger years working at Trochu Coal for local farmers.
It was at this time Smitty found his new love for horses and the racetrack.
Smitty jumped on board and worked for many Chuckwagon drivers like Orville Strandquist, Hally Walgenbach, Dale Flett and Bill Greenwood to name a few.
He spent eight years following the driver’s trackside.
In 1969, he started training racehorses of his own and for others.
He spent his summer months on the road between Alberta and Saskatchewan and his winter months driving the school bus for 32 years.
On Feb. 27, 1970, he married the love of his life, Lavonne Hronek.
Although Smitty and Lavonne did not have children of their own, they had two very special four-legged children named Brandy and Buttons.
Lavonne followed Smitty’s love for horses and the racetrack around during the summer months.
In 1981, they sold their acreage outside of Stettler and moved to an acreage on the edge of Gadsby where they continued to farm.
In 2007, Smitty retired from training horses but his love for them never died. Smitty enjoyed spending his time riding horses, hunting and playing cards with family.
Smitty is survived by his loving wife Lavonne Smith of Gadsby; brother Ralph Smith (Olive) of Ottawa and his children Nancy and her family and Philip; brothers-in-law Duanne Hronek of Halkirk and his daughters Kassidy and Kourtney; Stanley (Frankie) Hronek of Stettler, their children Teresa, Tiera, Troy and Tyler.
He is also survived by his niece Leany Gale and family of New York State; mother-in-law Elsie Hronek; sister-in-law Pat Olson and her boys Dale and Glen; other relatives and many dear friends.
Smitty is predeceased by his parents Margarite and Leonard, brother Jack Smith, father-in-law Ben Hronek and sister-in-law Ruth Smith.
Funeral services were held at Gadsby Omega Cemetery on Sept. 21, 2019 with Rev. Jack Schulze officiating. Nieces Kassidy and Kourtney Hronek gave loving tributes.
Pallbearers were Gordon Jackson, Gary Strader, Norman Robinson, Doug Plett, Doug Green and Bob Kent.
Family and friends gathered in the Gadsby Community Hall for a time of sharing stories and a luncheon by Teresa’s Catering.
Memorial donations may be sent to the Alzheimer’s Society or a charity of your own choice.
Condolences may be sent to www.stettlerfuneralchapel.com. Stettler Funeral Home & Crematorium entrusted with the care and funeral arrangements, 403-742-3422.