Carl Lee Smith, 67, left this world suddenly at his home on Sunday, August 7, 2022. He was a much loved husband, father, granddad, brother, uncle and friend.
Carl was born on October 9, 1954 in McNary, Arizona; the son of Calvert and Gertie (Mouser) Smith. He married Rhonda Susan Hankins on February 28, 1986 in Kaneohe, Hawaii atop the Stairway to Heaven which spans the Ko'olau mountain range.
Carl is survived by his wife Rhonda, of Ozark; his daughter Stephanie, of Nixa; his son and daughter in law, Colt and Courtney Smith, of Springfield; grandchildren Levi, Logan, Jaiden, Allana, Sevyn, Brodey, Kainan, Phoenyx, Remington, Layla, Barrett, and Oaklee; sister, brothers in law and sister in law, Lila and Clint Geller, Grobin Davis, Larry Hankins, and Kevin and Anita Mills; over a hundred nieces and nephews; other relatives and a host of friends.
Carl is preceded in death by his parents; brother Calvert Smith; sisters Luella Thompson, Laura Ellen Davis, Lovell Perkins Hale and Ladine Keno.
Carl grew up in the White Mountains of Arizona, surrounded by a huge family & adoring parents. His best friend growing up was his nephew, Eddie Davis, and together they survived many lively adventures. Carl proudly served his country with a security clearance during the Vietnam War. After returning to the United States, he completed his high school education; then went on to play college football, manage a convenience store, and teach high school typing, all while still serving in the Army in Colorado Springs, Colorado. After his Honorable Discharge, Carl moved to Oklahoma to be closer to his family, where he continued his education at Oklahoma State University. He then went on to Lake Shores, Louisiana where he owned a health food store and then a Sonic Drive-in. He also was a fleet oil salesman and drove for an oil company where he delivered replacement parts to the offshore drilling rigs. Carl re-enlisted in the Army briefly, which took him to Waialua, Hawaii where he met and married Rhonda. Along with Rhonda came baby Stephanie, whom he embraced and later legally adopted. Moving back home to Phoenix, Arizona in 1986, Carl worked in apartment maintenance and landscaping. He also managed Crystal Drugstore and KFC. His only son, Colt, was born here in 1988. In 1996, Carl moved his family to Springfield, again to be closer to family. Here he worked in landscaping and also managed Express Lane, Golden Corral, and Wendy’s before he went back to truck driving. He drove over the road for CRST and Interstate for more than a decade and knew this country like the back of his hand. One of Carl's happiest moments was when he accepted a job driving for ROI. This allowed him to be at home with his rapidly growing family. Carl had many close friends at his job, and he took great pride in the services he was able to provide to people through their affiliation with Mercy Hospitals.
Carl enjoyed riding his motorcycle with Rhonda on the back and loved every moment spent with his kids and grandkids. Beyond this, Carl's greatest passion was his music. He began playing drums at age 8 in the soundproof studio his Dad built in their backyard. He started playing professionally at the age of 12 at Bill's Bar in Showlow, Arizona. His mom had to attend all his gigs with him because he was so young, and he was known as the Little Drummer Boy. Over the years, he was in a number of bands featuring several genres; country, rock, Beatles cover, Elvis cover, pop and more. He was proud to have opened concerts for Barbara Mandrell and Head East. His most recent band never made it to the stage but was formed of friends and their boys. Carl brought his son, Colt, into the group as the lead singer. Many memories were made as family and friends often gathered to eat great food and listen to them perform. As Carl would tell everyone, he was a 67-year-old Heavy Metal Drummer!
Cremation Rites have been accorded and Friends & Relatives are invited to a Celebration of Life from Noon to 2:00 P.M. on Saturday, August 20, 2022 at Adams Funeral Home in Ozark. A meal will be served immediately following at the home of a friend. Carl's Military Honors Ceremony will be held on Monday, August 22, 2022 at 9:00 AM at the Missouri Veterans Cemetery off Evans Road. All are welcome to attend as well.