Cover photo for Wilbur "Smitty" Smith's Obituary
1923 Wilbur 2018

Wilbur "Smitty" Smith

July 8, 1923 — October 2, 2018

Wilbur “Smitty” Henry Smith, 95

Beloved father, grandfather,  great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather Wilbur “Smitty” Henry Smith, 95, passed away October 2, 2018 at the Mountain Valley Cascadia of Kellogg. He was born on July 8, 1923 in Terraville, South Dakota; the son of William and Alma (Peterson) Smith. Wilbur was baptized on June 19, 1927 at the First United Presbyterian Church in Whitewood, South Dakota.

Smitty attended schools in South Dakota, before enlisting in the United States Navy.  He served on several ships in the Pacific during World War II, before being honorably discharged in 1946.

After the end of World War II, Smitty returned home to be with his family and friends.  Using his VA benefits, he completed a lock and key course.  Upon completion of his new skills, he followed his family to Kellogg to work at the Bunker Hill Mining Company and found work at the Zinc Plant as a carpenters helper; he later completed a carpenters apprenticeship program.  Many times he was called upon to open safes and work on locks for Bunker.  Smitty retired as a Zinc Plant carpenter foreman at the time of the closure of the Bunker Hill Company in 1981.  His day did not end when the whistle blew at Bunker Hill signaling the end of the shift, because he always had extra jobs.  He had a variety of home businesses and they included leather tooling, saw filing and his lock and key business.  He was known throughout the valley as “Smitty the Lock Smith”.

Smitty was united in marriage to Clarice Ann ( Dettmann) Buroker in 1954 in Superior, Montana and he became father to her children Carol, Elmer, Darlene and Sandra.  Clarice passed away in 1976. He then married Pearl “Marie” Edwards on February 13, 1978 in Pinehurst, Idaho and became a father to her grown children Bill and Vickie Rice.  Marie passed away in 2005.

Smitty was a member of the Kellogg Elks Lodge #1841, the Osburn VFW #1675 and the Shriners.  In his free time, Smitty enjoyed fishing, hunting and leather crafting.  He also enjoyed going gambling and taking short trips with Marie.

Smitty is survived by his four children Carol (Thomas “Dean”) Watts of Kellogg, Idaho, Darlene (David) McCullough, II of Lewiston, Idaho, Sandra (Richard) Nearing of Pinehurst, Idaho and Vickie Dale of Billings, Montana; his daughter-in-laws Lorene Buroker of Bloomington, Illinois and Sayoko Rice of San Diego, California;  16 grandchildren, numerous great-grandchildren and several great-great-grandchildren.  He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.  He was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers, three sisters, his first wife Clarice, second wife Marie, two children Elmer Buroker, Bill Rice and son-in-law Skip Dale.

Smitty was known as a very gentle, honest and kind man.  He raised his children with much love and kindness.  He will be missed by all who knew him.

Private Family services will be held.

The family wishes to express their sincere thanks to all of the staff at Mountain Valley Cascadia for their very professional and loving care Smitty received while a resident there.

The family suggests that memorials may be made to the Shoshone Cancer Resource Center, P.O. Box 261 Kellogg, Idaho 83837, or to the Kellogg Elks Lodge, P.O. Box 608 Kellogg, Idaho 83837, to the Osburn V.F.W. #1675 P.O. Box 534 Osburn, Idaho 83849 or to Hospice of North Idaho 2290 W. Prairie Ave. Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho 83815.

One may sign Smitty’s online guest book at


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