Obituary for Thomas C. Smothers | TheUnion.com
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Obituary for Thomas C. Smothers

In Memoriam

Thomas C. Smothers

November 10, 1932 – January 29, 2021

Thomas Charles Smothers

On Friday, Jan. 29, 2021, Thomas C. Smothers, loving husband and father of four, passed away at the age of 88.

Tom was born in Victoria, TX to Thomas Fay and Beulah Ball Smothers on November 10, 1932. He spent his youth working at his father’s businesses including a gas station and a trucking service. He proudly reported that he learned to drive at 10 to help with his father’s business. He worked through college driving trucks and bookkeeping for his uncle’s cotton gin. Tom received his Bachelor’s degree in Architectural Engineering from the University of Texas in 1954 and began working as a draftsman at Anchor Lumber in Victoria, TX.

Beginning in 1955, Tom served two years in the United States Army as an Engineering Assistant. Tom’s first job after an honorable discharge was as a Mechanical Engineer for Alcoa after which he began a 22 year career with Aerojet, managing aerospace projects including the Minuteman, Peacekeeper, and Trident Missiles. Although his career was spent developing weapons, he held a strong belief that they would insure peace for the world.

Tom had a passion for nature and building things. Always practical and resourceful, he was a true Mr. Fix It. He loved spending time remodeling and renovating an old cabin at Echo Summit, CA. He spent the final three decades of his life alongside his wife, Ann Gates, designing and building a beautiful home and park-like garden in Grass Valley, CA.

Tom will be remembered for his warmth, kindness, and compassion as well as for his quick wit and silly “dad jokes”.

Tom is survived by his wife Ann, his four children, Linda Smothers, Terry Lekki, Charlie Smothers and Chris Gates, his brother Dale Smothers, nine grandchildren, three great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his parents, his older sister Marjorie Striedel and his niece Marilyn Anderson.

A small family memorial service will be held at a later date. Donations in his honor may be sent to: Hospice of the Foothills, Grass Valley CA.


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