Winburn Lee Smith was born on Christmas Eve 1926 on the family farm, one and one-half miles south of Doans, TX to Walter and Eura McDaniel Smith. He was gathered into the arms of Jesus peacefully in the early morning hours of May 23, 2014. He was born with a double cleft palate and underwent several surgeries as an infant and young child, one of the first to have this type of corrective surgery at the Shriner Hospital in Dallas. He attended Doans School and graduated from Northside School in 1944. He worked for Les Hamilton Construction, building electrical lines across North Texas and the Texas Panhandle. He worked at the Ice House during World War II and for R.L. More Gas. Winburn married Genevieve Smith Valentine’s Day, 1954. They celebrated their 60th anniversary in February 2014. Winburn farmed in the Doans and Fargo communities and continued to live on the farm he and Genevieve moved to after their wedding until his recent move to Electra Health Care for health reasons. He served as an Insurance Adjustor for the Federal Land Bank and was known for his honesty and integrity. He was employed at North Texas State Hospital in the Maintenance Facility for many years where everyone knew Smitty and enjoyed his friendliness and consideration. For most of the years Winburn farmed, he worked at Fargo Gin during the fall as a press hand and hauled cotton seed, bales, and burrs.
Winburn was honored as Doans May Picnic Man of the Year in 2003 and could not recall ever missing a Doans Picnic. He served on several committees and worked to prepare the grounds each year when the picnic was held at Watts Grove, spending the night before the picnic helping with the chuck wagon meal. His aunt, Montez McDaniel Richards, was the second Doans Queen. Lee Jr., was Doans King in 1992, great-grandson Landry Heath Smith was the 2014 Doans King, great-granddaughter, Morgan Ashley Garrard was the Doans Queen in 2009, and grandson Bartlett Edward Smith was the Doans King in 2002. He was a deacon in the Fargo Baptist Church until the church disbanded. Then he and Genevieve moved their membership to First Baptist Church, Vernon, where he served as a deacon and was active in Sunday School.
He always had time for the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, teaching many of them to drive on their country roads around their farms. He was patient, loving, and a great man of faith, always praying for all his children as he blessed each meal. Winburn instilled in his children and grandchildren a work ethic that has continued to bless each of them as they have ventured into the world. He was devoted to his wife, his family, his church and his community.
Winburn was preceded in death by his parents, a sister, Patsy Ruth Smith, on Nov. 29, 1941, and a grandson, Bartlett Edward Smith, on July 24, 2011.
He leaves behind a legacy of Christian living, sincere encouragement and boundless hope that each member of his family will carry: his children Nathan Smith and Patricia, Electra; Mona Faul, Corinth, TX: Laura and Larry Smith, Whitney, TX; Grant Smith, Vernon; Ray and Jeannine Smith, Northside; and Winburn Lee, Jr. and Kathy Smith, Rankin, TX. His grandchildren and great-grandchildren Nathan P. Smith and Bondarant, Vernon; Allen and Melanie Smith, Madison, Landry and Presleigh, Vernon; Tisha Garrard, Jordan, Morgan and Brysan, Vernon; Sarah and Joey Harkrider, Cooper and Riley Jane, Kyle, TX; Jennifer and Claude Baker, Bryan, TX; Stefanie Smith and Conner, Lubbock; Sgt Reagan Smith (USMC inactive), Downey CA; Dalene and Philip Hamer, Dana Point, CA; Katy Faul, Corinth, TX; Clay and Autumn, Haley and Walter Smith, Northside; MacKenzie, Bolton and Braxton Smith, Rankin, TX; Kelly Moore and Aiden, Electra; Noah Moore, Enid OK; Amy Turkett, Austin, Leslie Kimbrough and children, Taylor, TX.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 27, 2014, at First Baptist Church, Vernon with Joe Dale Wilson and Dr. Alfred Woodard, a cousin, officiating. Interment will be in Fargo Cemetery with services provided by Sullivan Funeral Home.
The family requests memorials be made to the WinGen Scholarship Fund at Northside School or the Vernon College Nursing Program.
Visitation will be held 7 p.m. to 9 pm, Monday, May 26, 2014 at the Sullivan Funeral Home. Online condolences may be made at sullivanfuneralhomevernon.com