John T. Smith

John T Smith III, 75, of Wellborn, passed from this life peacefully on May 3, 2013, surrounded by his family. A gathering of family and friends will take place on May 8, 2013 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Callaway Jones Funeral home, Bryan Texas and Graveside Service to honor and celebrate his life is set for 11:30 am on May 9, 2013 at the Wellborn Cemetery. Reverend Craig Borchardt officiating.

John T. was born in Uvalde Texas to John T. Smith, Jr and Onita Gray. John T was baptised and confirmed in the Episcopal faith in Montell, Texas.

John T graduated from Uvalde High School and then enrolled at Texas A&M University in 1957. He married Gaye Dean and had two children, Cody and Kelley. John T served in the US Air Force as a Radio Operator and after he was discharged, he worked as a surveyor across Montana, Utah and Texas. John T returned to TAMU in 1965 and spent the next 3 years attending classes for a semester then working a semester until graduation in 1968 with a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics. John T married Leota Straub in 1967 and had one child, Leah.

While growing up in Uvalde he learned to play the guitar from local musicians and started performing with dance bands at the age of 13. He played with several bands in south Texas and the Bryan College Station area for most of his life. John T taught himself to play the Steel Guitar while serving as Superintendent building the Flatonia State Bank. John T was a gifted musician and loved to play western swing music. John T never seemed happier than when he was onstage lost in a good tune. In his words, the music let him crawl into his own world.

He had a wry, sarcastic sense of humor and enjoyed ranching and tending the family land. After retiring in 2004, he spent most weekends traveling to Uvalde to care for the family ranch and tending to his cows in Wellborn.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Onita B Smith Rider and John T Smith, Jr, his first wife Gaye Merritt, mother of Cody and Kelley and 2nd wife of 32 years, Leota Straub Smith, mother of Leah.

He leaves his fiancée, Lynn Stevens, and her immediate family; a son, Cody L. Smith, his grandson and great joy Caden T. Smith; two daughters, Kelley A Smith Hall and husband Larry; Leah S. Smith and Justin and Elizabeth Schroeder and numerous friends and acquaintances.

Honorary Paul Bearers are Dr. C Bryan Stuckey, Bertram J McNelly Jr, Herbert J Carper, Dean H Wallace, Kenneth M. Robison, Darrell Brown, Joe Kuciemba, Bill Foster, and Bruce Ramsey.

The family would like to send special thanks to the wonderful staff at Hospice Brazos Valley for their special attention and care, especially nurse Emily Rhodes.

Memorials may be made in John T’s name to the charity of your choice or to Hospice Brazos Valley 502 W 26th Street, Bryan Texas 77803.


  1. Thinking of you and your family at this time and hoping you find comfort in remembering the good times and the special closeness
    that you and your dad shared together.

  2. Leah and family,
    You are in our prayers as you gather in celebration of your father’s life. In the shadow of his death, may you all find God ever near and receive strength to engage live with even greater appreciation for all the good memories you will take with you. Sincerely, Bruce Postma and the Marketplace Chaplain Team


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