Lee Smith, 95

Lee Smith, 95 of Elgin, died Saturday, July 16, 2022 at Antelope Memorial Hospital in Neligh.

Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. Friday, July 22, 2022 at the United Methodist Church in Elgin with Rev. Brian Loy and Michael Loy officiating.

A Private Family Inurnment will take place at a later date at St. Boniface Cemetery in Elgin.

Visitation will be 5-7 p.m. Thursday at the church in Elgin with a 7 p.m. vigil service.

Levander Funeral Home of Elgin is in charge of the arrangements.

Condolences may be sent to the family at www.levanderfuneralhome.com


Leland Leroy Smith was born June 9, 1927 to Earl and Lois (Barrington) Smith in Valentine, NE. He completed his freshman year of high school before turning over his hands to the land and the ranch with his dad and brothers.

Lee had a love for knowledge and could quite often be found reading encyclopedias and history books and anything he could get his hands on. He truly had a love of knowledge, and could tell you about all the back roads he had ever taken and give you a short cut for any direction you were going. In later years, he graduated from encyclopedias to his smart phone, utilizing google to increase his knowledge.

On May 17, 1951 Lee married Marie Carley at the Catholic church in Long Pine, NE.  Lee and Marie shared their love with their children Connie, Karen, David and Pamela and a host of grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.  Through the years they lived in Ainsworth, NE, Sunnyside, WA and Elgin. No matter their location Lee was a determined and successful businessman. Whether he was running the gas station in Washington or the Gambles Store in Elgin, Lee thrived. He had an honest handshake and a heart of gold.

Lee took pride in his garden, taking care of his neighbors and he always had a hand extended to help those in need. Lee was raised in the Sandhills along with his siblings Aubrey, Fern, Stan, Dean and Marjorie. Being raised on the ranch played a big role in Lee becoming quite the handyman. If he needed something and couldn’t find it, you could find him in his garage trying to make it.

Music was another love deep in his heart. Lee had the talent of playing by ear. He could sit and listen to a song, grab his guitar, fiddle, mandolin, mouth harp or a variety of other instruments, and within a few tries you could hear him playing the song he just heard. One of his favorite things was when his brothers would visit and they would sit around playing together.

Lee is survived by his loving wife of 71 years Marie of Elgin; daughters: Karen Eisenhauer of Bloomfield; and Pamela Smith of O’Neill; brother Stan Smith of Ainsworth, NE; ten grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren and six great-great-grandchildren; sister-in-law Joy Harr of Lincoln; and a host of friends and family.

Lee was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Aubrey and Dean; sisters Fern and Marjorie; son David Smith; daughter Connie Hankin; grandson Jerold Obershaw; and sons-in-law Jim Eisenhauer and Leo Obershaw; and brother-in-law Ervin Harr.