Clarence R. "Nig" Smith, 90, of Coal City, passed away Friday, June 4, 2004 at his residence.
Born June 11, 1914 in Coal City, he was the son of Curtis and Della Snellenberger Smith. On Aug. 19, 1936, he married Luella Fulk who survives. They had been married 67 years at the time of his passing.
He began his 43 1/2 years as a coal miner at the Bonnie Brook mine southeast of Clay City in October 1933. He was a bulldozer operator most of his mining career having worked many years for the G & F Corporation out of Brazil. In 1965 he moved to the Maumee Coal company at Coal City. He ended his career in 1978, retiring after working many years at Latta Mine in Jasonville. He also farmed all of his life, owning a small farm south of Coal City.
During World War II, Clarence served aboard the USS Prometheus, a navy repair ship, in the south Pacific as a Motor Machinist Mate. He joined the service in the Seabees in July 1943 and was honorably discharged Dec. 12, 1945. Before shipping out to the South Pacific, he spent time at the naval facilities in Norfolk, Va., and saw the Philippines and China during the war.
Clarence, a life-long resident of Coal City, graduated from the Coal City High School April 22, 1933. Most of his life Clarence was a member of the Jefferson Baptist Church in Coal City, but in his later years attended and held membership at the Antioch Christian Church east of Coal City, Ill.
He loved fishing as long as he was able and also hunted as long as he could walk. He played independent baseball for years in his younger life, and he enjoyed watching basketball on TV. For years, he enjoyed getting together with his sisters and brother and their spouses to play cards as opportunity allowed. He was a family man and enjoyed all the reunions and holiday get-togethers.
He is survived by his wife, Luella, their son and daughter-in-law, Denny and Kae Smith of Coal City, their children, Stephanie and Brodie Smith; also their daughter and son-in-law, Connie and Keith Kittle of Coal City, their children and spouses, Michael and Nancy Kittle of Centerpoint and their children, Chloe, Emmie and Addie Kittle, Chad Kittle of Coal City, and Beth and Brian Atkinson of Brazil. One sister and brother-in-law also survives, Virginia and John Gordon of Florida.
Preceding him in death were his parents, brother Raymond Smith and sisters Doris Sinders, Maude Wells, Catherine Sinders and Helen Walters.
Graveside service will be Tuesday at 10 a.m. at Beech Cemetery Clay City.
Visitation will be today from 4-8 p.m. at Schoppenhorst Funeral Home in Clay City.
Memorial contributions may be directed to Vista Care Hospice. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.