Gary Smith / Katy Smith
Our beloved parents, Gary and Katy Smith, passed away peacefully and together in Casa Grande, Arizona, after 41 years of marriage. Gary, age 87, passed away on Thursday, Aug 10, and Katy, age 75, joined him the following day, on Friday, Aug. 11.
Charles Gary Smith was born April 25,1936, to William Glenn Smith and Georgia Virginia Fitzwater Smith in Roosevelt, Utah.
Gary had a wide variety of jobs over the course of his life, including delivering telegrams for Western Union and having his own cleaning business in Salt Lake City. After moving to Evanston, he worked as the golf professional at Purple Sage Golf Course, co-owned Uinta Lanes Bowling Alley and worked as a car salesman at Evanston Motor.
During their travels, he also worked at various golf courses and volunteered to coach local golf teams, which he greatly enjoyed. In his younger days, he loved to work on cars; he built his own “hot rod” and later had a car that he raced at Bonneville Raceway.
He was also quite athletic, having run track at East High School in Salt Lake City. He played softball and was known as a very competitive golfer, bowler and as a formidable opponent in billiards at the senior centers in Evanston and Casa Grande.
Gary was an overall nice guy who was always ready to lend a hand when needed. He was quick with a joke and always had some “helpful” advice that was sure to make you smile.
Katherine “Katy” Jeanne Smith was born Oct. 31, 1947, to Herold Kurrasch and Arleen McLean Kurrasch in Worthington, Minnesota.
Katy moved extensively during her childhood, due to her father’s job. They moved from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, to Huntington Beach, California, where she graduated high school in 1965. She went on to become a registered nurse and get her master’s degree in nursing.
After working at hospitals in California and Utah, she finished her career at the Wyoming State Hospital, where she was well-respected for her leadership, care of the patients and for encouraging staff to continue their education.
She enjoyed all crafts and became an accomplished, award-winning quilter, with many family and friends being blessed with her works of art over the years. Katy also took up running later in life, which became a passion, and Gary supported her in running in several marathons, many half-marathons and lots of 5Ks.
She was involved with the National Fallen Fireighters Foundation after the line-of-duty death of her son, Robert, in 2002. Katy was always a very independent woman who wasn’t afraid to speak her mind, work hard and set her goals high. She was also a loyal friend who loved family, friends and life to the fullest.
Gary and Katy met in Salt Lake City in 1976 through a single parents group. They found they had a common love of country music and dancing — something they would carry on for most of their lives and would be known for as they were a very fun couple to watch dance.
They moved to Evanston in 1979 and married in 1982. While in Evanston, they enjoyed camping and hunting with family — and dancing at the Legal. While Katy was a big Green Bay Packers fan, they were both big Denver Bronco fans and they enjoyed traveling with friends to Denver to catch a football game, often with a stop in Laramie for a UW Cowboy game.
After “retirement” Gary and Katy became full-time RVers and traveled the country, including all 50 states, Canada and Mexico, geocaching as they went. In their travels, they enjoyed working a variety of fun jobs including hosting at campgrounds/RV parks all over the country, selling Christmas trees, and working at Meteor Crater and Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.
Along the way, they met new people and made numerous friends — many whose friendships would last a lifetime. Gary also supported Katy when she set the goal of hiking rim to rim at the Grand Canyon with her dear friend, Kay Hanks. She then convinced Gary to join her on another hike to the bottom of the canyon a year later.
They were always up for an adventure, and many people loved to follow along on the travelblog Katy wrote during their years on the road. They were delighted when their travels brought them back near family or when family could join them in their “hotel on wheels” around the country. As their travels wound down, they split their time between Casa Grande and Show Low, Arizona, where they doted on their dogs, Bandit and Trifle.
Gary was predeceased by his parents; his daughter, Victoria McMannis; son-in-law, David Ferguson; his brothers, Arlen Smith and Ronnie Smith; and his sister, Connie Smith.
Gary is survived by his children, Neila (Jay) Slevert, Curtis Smith, Sharee Smith Diederich and Natalie Smith Ferguson; his sisters, Nancy Smith-Gunter and Pamela (Jim) Dalpiaz; and many nieces and nephews.
Katy is predeceased by her parents; and her son, Robert Henderson.
Katy is survived by her daughter, Riki (Kevin) Haukaas; daughter-in-law, Anna (Robert) Henderson; and her dear cousin, Sandy Rose.
Gary and Katy are also survived by a combined 21 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren, one great-great-grandchild; and many, many dear friends in Evanston, Casa Grande (especially “the Roost”), Show Low and all along the roads they traveled.
We are happy to know that Gary and Katy are “on the road again,” together as always! A celebration of life will be held at a later date. Donations can be made to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, Humane Society or charity of your choice in lieu of flowers.