Keith Rodell Smith
Born: August 15, 1958 in Shelbyville, IL
Keith was a fun-loving, caring and devoted husband, father, grandfather and friend. He had a robust sense of adventure and a varied life path pursuing different vocations and experiences throughout his life. He worked as a truck driver, mechanic shop owner, electrician, and in maintenance. He was strongly beloved by those close to him and is known for his unusual generosity and his open hearted manner. Over the years, he became what many would call ‘a family man,’ and spent much time with his children and grandchildren. His family was the thing most precious in the world to him. He often expressed his love for them and spent as much time playing with them, and care-taking for them he could.
Keith had many natural talents that would have taken others years of schooling to acquire. He was an excellent guitarist and even started writing some of his own songs. Some told him he should have pursued it professionally, but he would modestly wave that idea off. He would host sing-alongs with his family at home, playing playlists that he and his wife, Carmen, came up with and enjoyed. He loved to hear his wife and daughter Cheyenne sing as he played their favorite songs.
He was able to enjoy many activities and hobbies including travel, riding motorcycles, music, playing guitar, dancing, John Wayne movies, roller-skating, and working on mechanical things. He would drive for days at a time with his family to arrive at interesting new places with ease. And it allowed him and his family to travel together and see things they otherwise would not have. He had an excellent sense of direction and could remember exact routes of the roads. He could navigate to anywhere in the United States without a map, which may have fed his strong distrust of GPS. Keith would share unique places with his children and wife and express great enthusiasm for things such as, the ‘World’s Tallest Thermometer’ in California.
Keith had a rare generosity and shared it with others. While keeping close ties with family and friends, he often mentioned how other people in trouble deserved ‘second chances’ and would lend assistance to those in need whenever he was able. Keith was known to lend money to people in need, even those that may not come around to pay it back. But as soon as they needed him again, he would be there.
He loved working with his son Dwaine and ‘tinkering’ in the shop. He was exceptional at building, and repairing anything mechanical. He worked on cars, bikes, anything he could, for the pure joy of it. As was often said of him, if it was broken, Keith could fix it. And even if there’s nothing wrong with it, he might say, “Well, I can make it even better.”
Another great love of his life was his motorcycle. He often said it was pure freedom, and the closest thing to flying. He would take drives with friends and by himself to experience the joy of the road. Keith would often participate in charity motorcycle rides, raising funds for veterans and families in distress.
And at this time, knowing what could be possible, it is easy to imagine now that Keith is riding his motorcycle along an expansive, winding road that overlooks the most beautiful sunset ever laid eyes upon, listening to his favorite songs, and feeling the freedom and flight of the road. And he would wave as if to say, ‘I’ll see you all again soon.’
Keith is survived by his wife Carmen Smith, and his children Dwaine Smith and wife Larissa Smith of Maysville, Jennifer Smith of Rogers, AR and Kelly Douglas and husband Brenton of Rogers, Cheyenne Smith and Laramie Smith of the home; his stepmother, Sue Smith of Gentry; his brothers and sisters Justin Smith and wife Shelly, Belinda Haslett and husband Chad, Cheryl Quaintance and husband Randy of Gentry, AR., Barbara McGuire of Fayetteville, AR; his stepbrother, Marvin Hughes and wife Lisa of Maysville; his eleven grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.