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Earl Lee Smith
March 17, 1953 ~ September 23, 2023 (age 70) 70 Years Old
Earl Lee Smith, age 70, of Benton, went to be with his Lord and Savior at 9:43 p.m. Saturday, September 23, 2023, with his loving family by his side.
Earl Lee Smith was born in Fairfield, IL, the son of Kenneth Leon Smith and Mary Elizabeth (Jeffords) Smith. Earl married the love of his life, Isabel McDonald Smith on August 30th, 1975 in Scotland. Together they raised five children and numerous foster children.
Earl served 20 years in the United States Navy (8 years active and 12 years Seabee reserves). This accomplishment was something he was most proud of. Before joining the Navy, Earl graduated from Mills Prairie High School and continued his education at Olney Central College. Earl retired in 2010 from the United States Postal Service after working 28 years. Earl’s hobbies include running, biking, swimming, listening to music, geocaching, spending time with his grandkids, and taking care of his family farm in Burnt Prairie, IL. The farm has been in the family for over 150 years and Earl enjoyed farming with his Dad and Grandpa, Charles T. Smith. Earl has run 108 marathons and countless other races. One of his favorite accomplishments was twice qualifying for the Boston marathon.
Earl is survived by his wife, Isabel and his five children: Sheri (Shon) Hargis, James (Melissa) Smith, Rebecca (Dustin) Chavez, Shannan (Dr. Matthew) Bernico, and Evan Smith. His eight grandchildren who are his pride and joy, Raine, Nora, Luna, Deklan, Lewis, Charlee, Ryne, and Archie. His siblings Nancy Merritt, Betty (Jeff) Schroeder, Ray (Kim) Smith, and Gail Doggett and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Earl was a man of strong faith, and he was an active member of Whittington Church where he enjoyed men’s fellowship and Monday night ping-pong. On September 23rd, 2023, Earl finished his last race and ran into the arms of Jesus.
Funeral Services will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, September 30, 2023, at Whittington Church, with Rev. Mark Minor officiating. Burial, with Military Honors, will follow in the Liberty Cemetery, Burnt Prairie, Illinois. Visitation will be from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Saturday, September 30, 2023, at Whittington Church.
Leffler Funeral Home of Benton, is in charge of the services.
Memorial contributions may be made to Whittington Church for the construction of a children’s playground.
To leave online condolences to the family, or to share memories of Earl, visit www.lpfuneralhome.com