Sam Smith, Lawton passed away Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020 at Comanche County Memorial Hospital in Lawton. Sam fought a courageous six-week battle in the ICU from an extreme bacterial infection.
Due to the ongoing pandemic there are no services scheduled at this time. A celebration of life service will be held at a later date. The family looks forward to remembering and celebrating the great journey of life of Sam Smith.
Arrangements are under the direction of Becker-Rabon Funeral Home.
Sammy Nay Smith, 83, of Lawton, was born May 9, 1937 in Piedmont, to Bill N. and Ella (Gidney) Smith. He grew up in El Reno, and attended Lawton High School, class of 1955, first class to graduate in the new facility. Sam attended multiple universities, Cameron University, Southwestern State University, and Oklahoma University. He pursued his educational administration credentials and taught at several schools. He finished his 30-year public school career as principal of Geronimo Road Elementary at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Sam then completed his long educational career at St. Mary’s Catholic School in Lawton for an additional six years. Sammy Nay influenced many children and teachers over his long tenure. He has always had students and teachers commend him on how he impacted their lives. Sam always had a way to connect to his staff and children in a positive and life-changing way. Everyone remembers the “Now Look” speech, with his finger, and his eyes piercing into your soul, he was that kind of motivator. He was the man, the big chief, the hall patrol, and the enforcer as a dad, but he loved to the point that he penetrated a place inside you that no other could reach.
Sam married his best friend and life partner Sondra Jane Tune on Dec. 17th, 1959 in Weatherford. They were married for 60 years. Sondra also was heavily involved in education in her long educational career in Lawton. Sam enjoyed lots of hunting and fishing. He always owned champion grade German short-hair pointers and treated them like humans. He had his kids out hunting and fishing when they were just four or five years old. He also had his core hunting and fishing crew, Jerry Ryder, Elbert Bentley, Peter Clinton Moore, Don Haines and a host more. Bill Tune was a key player in his ranch/hunting life; he was a nephew by marriage. Sam and Bill were like brothers managing a successful black angus heard in Fort Supply, on the Tune Ranch. Sam was a great artist; he has done several paintings with Native American influences. He loved creativity, art, and music which made his personality very charismatic and magnetic. Sam was notorious for his Lawton, home grown banana trees, his great gardening hands, and landscaping skills. Sondra and Sam traveled extensively, having retired early at age 50. Sam influenced many people throughout his life, he was witty, passionate, and assertive, had an incredible sense of humor, and loved to make others happy. He was a special man to many people all over the great state of Oklahoma. Sam will be greatly missed, and we will never forget the countless impacts he has made on all of us. He will soar with the eagle and be free with the spirit forever.
Sam is survived by his wife of the home, two children: Christopher Dean Smith and wife Jill Fussell Smith, Kim Nolan and husband Dr. Dean J. Nolan, three grandchildren of Chris and Jill Smith:, Colby Skyler Smith, Jacey Nicole Smith, Kyler Dean Smith; two other grandchildren of Kim and Dr. Dean Nolan: Kerry Don Wood and wife Nicole, and Austin Nolan, three great grandchildren; of Kerry Don and Nicole Wood: Ashlyn Wood and Kayleigh Wood, and Victoria Wood, daughter of Kerry Don Wood, brother, Bill Smith and his daughter, Mindy Pritchard, and sister-in-law, Janice Smith and her children, Patty and Mark.
Sam was preceded in death by his parents, granddaughter, Christy Ann Smith who died January 5, 2000, brother, Dick Smith, and sister-in-law, Margie Smith.
In lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions to Centenary United Methodist Church, 704 SW D Ave., Lawton, OK 73501 or by going to www.lawtoncentenary.org.
An online guest book and sympathy cards are available at www.beckerfuneral.com