Walter ‘Jack’ Smith

Wednesday, March 13, 2019
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Walter “Jack” Smith passed away at his home in Melrose, Montana, on March 2, 2019.

Jack was born Feb. 9, 1930, in Bozeman, Montana, to Les and Lois Smith. Jack attended Butte High School, and spent his childhood living in Homestake, kindling his lifelong love of the outdoors.

At the age of 15, Jack went to work for the railroad. A literal “Jack” of all trades, he spent various stages of his life working as a cab driver, insurance salesman and restaurant entrepreneur. He spent most of his career working for General Constructors, where he oversaw many large projects in Butte and the surrounding area. Jack went on to spend a decade serving as a building inspector for Butte-Silver Bow, before retiring at the age of 62.

Jack married Ruth Edwards on Oct. 28, 1949. Together, they welcomed Judy, Butch, Les, and Pat. They owned a donut shop in Helena for a time, before Ruth’s passing in 1961.

On April 18,1962, Jack married Truda Snyder, welcoming Joel, Deannda, and numerous foster children. They remained in the Butte area until after retirement, when they took to the open road in their motorhome.

In his spare time, Jack enjoyed spending time in his shop working on various projects, right up until his death. Many a home are adorned with his handcrafted treasures, the most precious being the rocking horses he and Truda lovingly constructed for their family and friends.

Jack also fancied himself an avid pilot, which in turn provided him with ample opportunities to hone his airplane repair skills.

Jack enjoyed the last 12 years of his life with his wife, Judy Ascheman, at their residence in Melrose. Jack continued to explore his interest in aviation, albeit from the ground.

Of all of the things he built, Jack was the most proud of his family. He will be deeply missed. Jack is not only leaving his family with memories, but also handmade treasures that will be passed down for generations.

Jack was preceded in death by his parents, Les and Lois Smith; wife Ruth Edwards Smith; daughter Judy Townsend; son Walter “Butch” Smith; brother Jerry Smith; and sister Rachel Osborne.

Jack is survived by his wife Judy Ascheman; sons Les (Carol) Smith (Butte), Pat (Paula) Smith (Seattle); daughter Joel (Luke) Eighorn (Melrose); Deannda Neufer (Horseheads, New York); stepchildren Brandy (Shane) Sorden (Melrose), John (Laura) Ascheman (Townsend); brothers Alan Smith (Portland, Oregon), Mike Smith (Merced, California), Tom (Sandy) Smith (The Dalles, Oregon); 12 grandchildren, 11 greatgrandchildren, nine great-greatgrandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Services will take place at the Brundage Funeral Home in Dillon on March 16 at 2 p.m. Reception will immediately follow at the Hitchin’ Post in Melrose.