Howard McLay Smith


(Nov. 15, 2007)

Howard McLay Smith died Thursday, Nov. 15 at his home in Powell, with his loving wife by his side.  A celebration of his life will be held at 2:30 p.m. today (Tuesday, Nov. 20) at the Presbyterian Church in Powell.

Howard was born on July 2, 1930, in Denver to Howard Nathaniel and Mary McLay Smith.  He was raised in Laramie where he graduated from high school.  He joined the U.S. Navy and proudly served his country in the Korean War.  He graduated from the University of Wyoming with a degree in commerce in 1956.

In September,1955, he married Donna Killebrew and to this union four children were born:  Mike, Jimmy, Linda, and Todd.  The family lived in Denver and in many towns in Wyoming while Howard worked for Amoco Production Co. The family returned to Powell for good in 1964.  Howard continued to work for Amoco until 1975.

On Jan. 18, 1979, he married Patty Beier Burgener and became a step-father to Steve, Dan, Michelle, and Eric.

Howard had a variety of jobs after he left Amoco, including running a pipe business with Jim Lafollette, oil processing with Gary Hillman, working at Smith Trucking, and finally working at Weatherford until he retired in 2000.

He was a long-time youth baseball coach, a member of the Powell Volunteer Fire Department, a V.F.W. member, and a past Exalted Ruler of the Elks Club.

Howard enjoyed traveling with Patty, especially to Nine Mile Falls and to Denver. He enjoyed working in his yard, and spending time in the outdoors – particularly Sunlight Basin.  Recently he and Patty made regular trips to Sunlight to see the progress being made on Jimmy’s cabin.  Howard was a sports fanatic, memorizing the newspaper sports page daily. On the day he passed, he was winning the football pool.  This summer, he went in person to see his all-time favorite team, the New York Yankees, play his second favorite Colorado Rockies.  Above all, Howard was a people person and was most happy laughing with friends and family.  His network of friends spans across the country.  Howard will be missed by many.

Survivors include his wife, Patty Smith of Powell; sons, Jimmy of Plano, Texas, and Todd of Cheyenne; daughter, Linda (Vince) Hopkin of Cody; stepsons, Steve and Dan (Lori) Burgener, of Nine Mile Falls, Wash., and Eric (Julie) Burgener of Firestone, Colo.; stepdaughter, Michelle (Charlie) Marker of Larkspur, Colo.; grandsons, Cory Smith of Denver,  Eric Smith, of Tempe, Ariz., Chad Hopkin of San Diego, Calif., Dane Hopkin of Laramie, Clay Burgener, Nine Mile Falls, Wash., Gus and Hudsen Marker of Larkspur, Colo.;  granddaughters, Tess Hopkin of Cody, Jessica Burgener of Aurora, Colo., Jenna and Alex Burgener of Nine Mile Falls, Wash., Samantha Marker of Larkspur, Colo., Roni and Olivia Burgener of Firestone, Colo.; great-granddaughter, Tayleigh Hopkin, Cody, and great-grandson Brayden Burgener of Aurora, Colo.

Howard was preceded in death by his parents; younger brother, James Smith; and son, Mike Smith.

Cremation has taken place. The family would appreciate memorial donations to a cause dear to Howard’s heard, the Korean memorial, PO Box 2494, Cody, WY 82414.

Immediately following the service, there will be a reception at the Presbyterian Church hall in honor of Howard’s sweet tooth, followed by a  gathering at the Elks Lodge.

Arrangements are being handled by Thompson Funeral Home.