July 21, 1928 - November 12, 2019
Eugene H. Smith, 91, of Kearney, passed away Tuesday, November 12, 2019 at Brookstone Gardens in Kearney. Funeral Services will be on Saturday, November 16, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. at Horner Lieske McBride & Kuhl Funeral Home in Kearney. Rev. Don Schauda will officiate burial will be at 2:00 p.m. at the Gates Cemetery near Broken Bow, NE. Visitation will be 1 hour prior to services at the funeral home in Kearney. Memorials are suggested to the family to be designated later. Please visit www.hlmkfuneral.com to leave a tribute or message of condolence. Horner Lieske McBride & Kuhl Funeral and Cremation Services in Kearney is in charge of arrangements. At 91 years of age, Eugene H. Smith passed away Tuesday, November 12, 2019, at Brookestone Gardens in Kearney, Nebraska. “Gene” was an exemplary family man – husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather – and a good neighbor. His mother-in-law, Elda Gates Huffman, once described him as a “natural-born stockman.” Gene liked working with cattle and horses, and most preferred work that could be done from horseback. He never really considered himself a “cowboy” but Gene had the skills. If a cowboy was what you needed, he’d do until one came along. Gene was born in rural Custer County on July 21, 1928, to Claude and Faye Smith. The family, which came to include Gene’s brother, Lee, first resided in the Dry Valley community, south of Sargent. In 1940, they moved to a place west of town, in the Walworth area. Gene graduated from Sargent High School in 1946. In 1952, he married Eyvonne Huffman, originally from Milburn. To that union were born two sons, Troy and Dean, and a daughter, Linda. Gene served two years in the U.S. Army and worked for a time on a Loup County ranch, but for the majority of his working life, he was employed by the state of Nebraska as a brand inspector. For over 30 years he performed cattle brand inspections and ownership verification at locations including Benkelman, North Platte, Broken Bow, Lexington, Alliance and Grand Island. Beginning in 1963, Gene was assigned to Kearney which became an inspector training center. During the years he was inspector-in-charge and a trainer, Gene supervised 31 beginning brand inspectors. During the mid-1960s, Gene and Eyvonne also purchased the Walworth-area land his parents had leased since 1940. Gene and Eyvonne later acquired some grassland northwest of Kearney and additional acreage in Custer County. Having some “grass” allowed Gene to pursue modest cattle and horse breeding enterprises. When he retired from Nebraska Brand Committee employment, he devoted more time to his livestock and his long-time sideline of training horses to saddle, but also to drive in harness. For as long as he was physically able, he also performed day-work for area cattle producers needing help from someone still possessing cowboy skills. Gene is survived by his wife, Eyvonne, and children: Troy (LeeAnn) Smith of Sargent, Dean (Yvonne) Smith of Kearney, and Linda (Pat) Jones of Cambridge. Survivors also include nine grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren, as well as nieces and nephews. Gene was preceded in death by his parents; brother; and grandson, Aaron Jones.
Eugene H. Smith, 91, of Kearney, passed away Tuesday, November 12, 2019 at Brookstone Gardens in Kearney. Funeral Services will be on Saturday, November 16, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. at Horner Lieske McBride & Kuhl Funeral Home in Kearney. Rev. Don... View Obituary & Service Information
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