Sunday, January 26, 2020

Goodbye, Dad

My Dad, Dick Smith, passed away Thursday. 

Dad and Mom were married 68 years and had five children. They set an amazing, loving example: all of their five children are on their first marriages and there are now 46 members of the Dick Smith Family. Dick Smith Ford, year after year, won Ford's "Blue Oval" award. The Oval is given only to the 1% of dealers with the best customer service as determined by third party survey companies. Dad retired in 2016.

I mention the Blue Oval because Dad taught me how to run a business and how to take care of customers in my businesses. But, far more importantly, he taught me how to be a man and how to take care of a family of my own.

Here is an example of the type of man he was: In 1957, the Ruskin Heights Tornado struck very near our home killing 44 and injuring 1000. At the time, there was no television radar and weather science knew very little about tornadoes, including how they moved and developed. With that background, when the Raytown, Missouri, police called and wanted to know if he could loan the authorities Ford station wagons to use as makeshift ambulances, Dad didn't hesitate -- even though lightning was still flashing in the darkness as there was still perceived danger because we didn't know if another tornado might develop. Dad drove to the dealership (which was in the direction of the storm), summoned his troops and they drove 14 station wagons to the damaged area.

Dad intensely loved every member of his family. He would light up with his smile and there was a big hug for all whenever we visited.
He also loved his Kansas City Chiefs. He was one of the very first "Red Coat" boosters of the team and was on the field at Super Bowls I and IV. I'm so glad he made it to see them win the AFC Championship Sunday. He will be cheering them on from Heaven as they play in the Super Bowl February 2.

Dad's obituary is here. My niece, Amy Holsopple, has written a tribute to the Chiefs and my Dad, here.

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