Kenneth Smith, age 80, passed away due to complications from a stroke on September 9, 2020. Kenneth was born in Denning, Texas on January 8, 1940, and was the youngest of nine children born to Walter Harrison Smith and Alice Laura (Bradberry) Smith. A memorial service to celebrate his life will be scheduled for a later date at First Baptist Church of Vidor.
Kenneth grew up in Denning and graduated from San Augustine High School in 1958. He attended Sam Houston State University on a baseball scholarship and graduated in 1962 with a degree in Biology. He later obtained a Masters in Education degree from Stephen F. Austin State University.
While at Sam Houston State University, he met and began dating Anna Ruth Minton from Hemphill, Texas. They were married at First Baptist Church Hemphill on June 15, 1963 and remained together for 57 years until his death.
Kenneth enjoyed a teaching career that spanned 40 years. His first job was with the Mauriceville school district from 1962-1966 as a biology teacher and coach. He then was the elementary school principal in Hemphill from 1966-1969. He moved to Vidor and was employed by the Vidor Independent School District for 33 years as the principal at Oak Forest Elementary from 1969-1979 and as the Assistant Superintendent for Personnel from 1979 until his retirement in 2001.
Kenneth grew up roaming the piney woods and creek bottoms of East Texas and developed his lifelong love for the outdoors. He shared that love with his two sons, his brothers, and numerous friends while fishing the waters of Toledo Bend, Trinity Bay, East Bay, canoeing the Sabine River, and hunting in the woods of East Texas. He also enjoyed sports and never missed an opportunity to watch his sons and nephew run track and his granddaughters play volleyball and swim. Kenneth always had a garden and kept family and friends supplied with tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, okra, potatoes, and purple hull peas. He was at home in the kitchen and rarely used a recipe. His pickles, mayhaw and muscadine jellies will be greatly missed!
He was a member of First Baptist Church Vidor for 51 years where he was ordained as deacon. He also went on several mission trips, served on committees, worked with hurricane relief efforts, and was a Royal Ambassador leader (2 Corinthians 5:20). Serving was his passion and he impacted countless lives serving The Lord.
Kenneth is survived by his wife of 57 years, Anna Smith; son Scott Smith and his wife Karen of Cypress, Texas; son Neil Smith of Dallas, Texas; granddaughters Emily, Kate, and Claire Smith; brothers Lester Smith, Charles Smith; sisters-in-law Jeannie Smith, Marilyn Smith, Eugenia Hull; brother-in-law James Hull; 15 nephews and nieces.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Walter and Alice Smith of Denning, TX; brothers Robert Wayne “Buster” Smith, Wade Smith, Donald Smith; sisters Mary McBride, Murline McBride, Billye Tiller; brothers-in-law W.F. “Booster” McBride, Jr., Burnice McBride, Jeff Tiller; sisters-in-law Geraldine Smith, Bonnie Smith; one niece, and numerous good hunting dogs.
In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory can be made to Vidor Schools Foundation for an endowed scholarship or to the First Baptist Church Vidor Building Fund:
Vidor Schools Foundation
PO Box 1644
Vidor, TX 77670-1644
First Baptist Church Vidor
350 N Main St.
Vidor, TX 77662