Reverend Charles Everett Smith, Jr., 86, of Atlantic, Iowa, passed on peacefully in the afternoon, Monday, March 14, 2016, at his home in Atlantic.
Chuck was born July 7, 1929, in Council Bluffs, Iowa, to Charles and Viola Mae (Sheppard) Smith. He was raised in Council Bluffs and graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School with the class of 1947. While at a high school dance, that he was late arriving at due to attending prayer meeting, his sister introduced him to his future wife, Carol Jacobsen. The fact that she attended the rival school, Abraham Lincoln High School, didn't deter him in the least and they married on June 20, 1950.
Feeling the call to ministry, Chuck first attended college in Omaha, Nebraska, and then Bethel College in St. Paul, Minnesota. During his time in Minnesota his daughter, Deb, was born. This led Chuck to return home for a while and his son, Chuck, was born. The family later moved to Abilene, Texas, where he attended Hardin-Simmons University. While there, he was an assistant minister at the First Baptist Church of Abilene. After obtaining his undergraduate degree, he and his now growing family, moved to Stilwell, Kansas, where he worked multiple jobs to be able to attend Central Seminary in Kansas City, Kansas. He received his Masters of Theology degree shortly thereafter and was offered his first full time ministry position at the First Baptist Church of Stilwell. After several years, Chuck felt a calling to accept an offer to take over the reins of the First Baptist Church in Staunton, Illinois. During this time he was privileged to take a trip to the Holy Lands. As pastor in Staunton, Chuck was able to successfully unite the First Baptist Church and the First Presbyterian Church to create the United Baptist Church of Staunton. That congregation still meets in that very church to this day! While living in Staunton their youngest son, Jeff, was born.
Next, the family, now five strong, moved to Ottumwa, Iowa. Chuck helmed the First Baptist Church of Ottumwa for five years often filling in at the Second Baptist Church following the First's service. Again, feeling a strong calling, Chuck packed up the family and moved to Atlantic, Iowa, to minister to the good people of the first Baptist Church of Atlantic. This move proved to be the final stop for the nomadic Smith family. They found a home.
Over the next 43 years, Chuck, feeling it was the best way to be an effective minister, proceeded to meet and get to know as many people as he could possibly meet. He performed hundreds of weddings, attended hundreds of church functions and officiated at hundreds of funerals. Chuck also got involved in many community events. For years he was the announcer and voice of the Atlantic High School wrestling team. This involvement lead to his interest in how the city of Atlantic operated. Chuck ran for and became Mayor of Atlantic from 1993-1998. When the opportunity to administrate the Cass County Care Facility (locally known as the County Farm) presented itself, Chuck responded to the possibilities and accepted the position. Under his watch, a new, modern 45 bed facility was constructed. Over the ensuing almost 20 years in this modern facility, Chuck, his family, and his exceptional staff housed and cared for hundreds of the state of Iowa's most vulnerable residents. Privatization followed and Chuck then ran the facility as Sunshine Homes Inc. Seeing the need for a "stepping stone" placement for those residents who were trying to get back to living in their own house or apartment, Chuck developed and oversaw the construction of Park Place, as an expansion of Sunshine Homes, Inc. This 15 bed facility has the prime directive of assisting residents in becoming independent once again. Chuck also saw the need for employment for these same Iowans. With the help of key Atlantic citizens, Cass Incorporated was formed. Chuck took other church callings over the years and spent many fulfilling years as the minister of the Marne and Buck Creek Methodist Churches.
Chuck continued to meet and talk with many people. You could often find him in the mornings with a "coffee group" at Van's Chat and Chew (currently Family Table), Bob's Downtowner or the Farmer's Kitchen. It was only in recent times when physical difficulties made getting "out and about" impossible that Chuck stayed at home.
Chuck was also one to enjoy many personal activities and hobbies. For a time, Chuck was an avid golfer. He always joined a bowling league each year. Very often in the summer months you would find him watching the horses running at Aksarben. Chuck loved to spend free time with his family and would be the first to accept a friendly challenge to a game of cribbage. He had a beautiful singing voice, as did Carol. They frequently sang at church functions together. If anyone in the family needed a new or used car, he was ready and willing to help out. He loved "wheeling and dealing" with a car salesman! They always came away feeling like they had acquired the best car possible at the best price possible. One thing Chuck was happiest about was that he had the opportunity and privilege to baptize all of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, including a dedication of the youngest great-grandchild.
Remaining to cherish Chuck's legacy is his devoted wife of almost 66 years, Carol Smith of Atlantic, IA; his daughter, Deb Smith and husband, Steve Reisz of Panama, IA; his sons, Chuck Smith and Jeff Smith both of Atlantic; his grandchildren, Traci and wife, Lisa Smith [and her daughters, Jennifer (Jerry) McCarty and their daughters Lilah, Kiersten and Jillian all of LaCygne, KS; and Kristen (Brad) Young and their children Alicen and Drake all of Drexel. MO, Zach Smith, Sierra and fiancé Kolton Jensen, Evan Smith, and Donavan and wife, Nicole Waterman (and her son Cain) all of Atlantic; great-grandchildren, Joshua, Jacob, Jarrit, Jaci and Joseph Smith all of Atlantic; his sisters, Janis and husband, Richard Petersen of Omaha, NE, Nancy Matthew, and Candy and husband, Jon Narmi all of Council Bluffs, IA; sister-in-law, Norma Messersmith of Smithville, MO; many nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.
Entering heaven before him to welcome him home were his parents, Charles and Viola Smith; his parents-in-law, Nels and Johanna Jacobsen; his brother, Bill Kiger, his brother-in-law, Floyd Matthew; and many sisters-in-law.
Visitation services will be 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Friday, March 18, 2016, at the First Baptist Church in Atlantic, Iowa.
Funeral services will be 11:00 a.m., Saturday, March 19, 2016, at Hockenberry Family Care Funeral Home in Atlantic, Iowa. Everyone who knew this wonderful man is encouraged to attend.
A private family interment will take place at a later date.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers, memorials be made to the First Baptist Church in Atlantic, Iowa.