Thomas Smith '01 May 10, 2023 11:15 AM updated: May 10, 2023 11:27 AM
Thomas Gene Smith, BG USA (Ret)
June 24, 1929 - December 10, 2021
Thomas Gene Smith, age 92, of San Antonio, Texas, formerly of Zeigler, Illinois, peacefully passed away at his home surrounded by his family on December 10, 2021.
Thomas (Tom) was born June 24, 1929 and raised in Zeigler, to Robert Lloyd and Katherine Smith.
At school he excelled at sports and academics, and earned his High School Varsity Letter for track long-distance running, an accomplishment for which he was very proud. As a student it was recognized early that he had a keen interest and determination for learning, a value upon which he earned six University diplomas. Upon graduation from High School (1947) he enlisted into the Illinois Army National Guard where he earned a commission as Second Lieutenant, and ultimately attained the rank of Brigadier General (BG).
BG Smith is a veteran of the Korea, Vietnam, and Cold Wars, where he earned the Combat Infantryman Badge and numerous medals and awards, including the Silver and Bronze Star medals for valor, Purple Heart, and the Army Staff Badge. In 1981, after 31 years of US Army service, BG Smith retired with his wife, Dixie, and settled in Texas where he continued his civilian schooling and contributed to the education of others as an instructor and academic advisor for Webster University, Fort Sam Houston. Additionally, after his military retirement, he volunteered his time and knowledge to support the needs of US Veterans. His efforts were recognized various times, but most notably by Certificate from the Texas Veterans Commission and The State of Texas House of Representatives.
Thomas Smith's most honorable trait was that he was deeply grounded in his Faith. Additionally, he was the epidemy of the perfect and dedicated son, husband, brother, uncle, dad, grandfather, great-grandfather, friend. He lived by this Lord's commandments and the golden rule, and was, is, an example for all.
BG Smith was preceded in death by his parents, Robert Lloyd and Katherine Smith of Zeigler, Illinois, and brother Donald Smith.
He is survived by his beloved wife, of 64 years, Dixie Dianne (Due), their three children: Thomas F. Smith and wife Brenda, Timothy J. Smith and wife Cathy, and Teresa Smith Ritter. He also leaves behind ten grandchildren, sixteen great-grandchildren, and many nieces, nephews, cousins, in-laws, and friends.
The family would like to thank the doctors, nurses, and caregivers from the Brook Army Medical Center (BAMC), Fort Sam Houston, Texas, especially Dr. M. Mintchev, Oncology Department (BAMC), the Holy Savior Hospice, and Mr. Clyde Rose, EWA Non-Emergency Transport Service for their excellent support and loving care to Dad.
The family will receive friends from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m., Monday, January 3, 2021, at Porter Loring Mortuary. Interment with Full Military Honors will follow at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery.