A memorial service for Mr. Kenneth Lee Smith, Sr., 84, of Henderson, was held 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 8, 2019 at the Caudle-Rutledge-Daugherty Funeral Home in Lindale. A private burial will be held in the Crims Chapel Cemetery in Henderson at a later date.
Mr. Smith rode off into the sunset on Wednesday, May 8, 2018 in Tyler. He was born and raised in Henderson on Feb. 16, 1935 to the late Elmer Lee Smith and Mariam (Vise) Harmon.
He enjoyed riding saddle bronc while rodeoing. Mr. Smith served in the United States Army from 1956-58 and was stationed in Germany during the Cold War.
He roughnecked in the West Texas oilfields, worked for Morton Thiokol building rocket engines for the space program, and finally worked for Continental Can Company in Texas, Ohio, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, South Korea, Brazil and various other countries for over 20 years. Even far from Texas, Ken remained the quintessential Texas cowboy who raised, trained and showed his beloved quarter horses.
Mr. Smith was preceded in death by his younger brother, David Smith, first wife Shirlene (Kelsey) Smith, his second wife, Marina (Day) Smith and stepson Vincent Espinoza.
He is survived by his brother, Paul Smith of Henderson; son, Ken Smith II and wife, Kim of Great Falls, Mo.; daughter, Kem Denton and husband, Joe of Lindale; stepdaughter Diana Farrar and husband, Marcus of Dallas; stepson Marvin Espinoza and wife, Rhonda, of Colleyville; stepson Chris Gonzalez; grandchildren Lauren Smith, Lindsay Smith, Kendra Denton, Rachel Meyers, Cameron Espinoza, Brandie Vance, Justin Cannon, Destinee Gonzalez, Victoria Gonzales and Blake Gonzales; eight great-grandchildren and one great great-grandchild.