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Denver Smith

Denver Smith Obituary
Passed away on 11-29-2019. He was a longtime Phoenix resident and native of Salina, OK. Denver passed away after a lengthy illness. He was 84. Denver was born in 1935 to Talitha and Andy Smith. He was the youngest of seven children. Shortly after birth, his family moved to Colorado. He attended grade school in Durango, CO, and was a graduate of Durango High School, class of 1952. Shortly after graduation he joined the Army and was assigned to the 10th Special Forces Group at Ft. Bragg, NC. He served in several overseas locations, he learned to speak German and a little Russian. He received numerous US Army citations, including for actions in hostile areas of operations. He was honorably discharged in Ft. Carson, CO in 1955. He married Alberta Conner of Durango and resided in Colorado for a short time before being employed by the Department of Interior, with the Bureau of Reclamation. He was extremely mechanically inclined, with extensive knowledge in drilling and blasting operations. He was instrumental in helping to build several dams and waterways throughout the western U.S. He and Alberta spent many years traveling the American west with their longest stays in Colorado, Washington, and Utah. They eventually were transferred to Arizona where he was the Chief of Exploration section of the Central Arizona Project. He retired in Phoenix, in 1995. He owned and ran racehorses in Washington and Arizona. He was knowledgeable about horses and breeding, and knew many trainers and jockeys, in both Washington and Arizona. He loved playing golf, watching sports, and was known to occasionally bet a horse or two at Turf Paradise and Padre Murphy's, sometimes even a pretty fast longshot. He was wiry, tough, and smart, as well as kind and compassionate to those who may need a hand up. He knew what it was like to go through hard times. He was extremely active and vibrant until the last several months. His wife Alberta passed away in May 2014. Additionally, he was preceded in death by both parents and his six older siblings. Alberta and Denver had 3 children who survive him, Londa Smith Maloy (and husband Chris), Brenda Smith Farrell (and husband Rob), and Albert 'Randy' Smith, all of Phoenix. He was blessed with his two cherished grandchildren, Ashlyn and Logan, his pride and joy. It is hard to describe how much he has missed the love of his life Alberta for the last 5 and a half years, and it is a great comfort to his family knowing they are healthy and happy, together in heaven. Denver will be greatly missed by family and numerous friends. A private ceremony of friends and loved ones will be held at a later date in Durango, CO, where he will be buried alongside his wife.

Denver Smith
Published in The Durango Herald on Dec. 4, 2019
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