Thomas Joseph Smith
December 30th, 1921 – March 2nd, 2010
The world has lost an amazing and wonderful man: our Dad. Thomas Joseph Smith was born in Sheridan, Wyoming on December 30th, 1921 to Thomas and Doris Smith. He grew up in Buffalo, Wyoming and remained a cowboy at heart for the rest of his life. Dad died on March 2nd, 2010 surrounded by his loving family and taking care of them to the end.
Dad received his Pharmacy degree from Creighton University and served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He met Jenne Uppenkamp while stationed in San Francisco and they were married on October 17th, 1945. Dad worked in pharmaceutical sales at the beginning of their life together; they then moved to Carpinteria in 1958 to raise their growing family. Dad was co-owner and pharmacist at Mills Drugstore for 16 years, and was known as the tall, handsome, compassionate man behind the pharmacy counter. He later worked as a pharmacist at the California Men’s Colony until retiring in 1988. The family lived in Atascadero during those years, and returned to Carpinteria in 1995.
All who knew Dad would describe him as honest, generous, and dignified. He had a style all his own, and was a caring member of the communities he lived in. He was among the original founders of the Carpinteria Boys Club, past President of Carpinteria Lions Club, and a member of the Elks and Knights of Columbus. Many will remember him from the Carpinteria Pumpkin Patch, where he enjoyed meeting people and selling gourds and pumpkins every October for the past 15 years.
A man of many talents and interests, Dad was an artist and worked with wood, painting and photography. He enjoyed singing, dancing and keeping his family laughing and entertained with his wit and storytelling. At different times in his life he raised Norwegian Elkhound dogs, and also grew and sold organic apples at the Carpinteria Farmer’s Market. He was a voracious reader, and especially loved mysteries and westerns. Above all else, Dad was a family man who loved unconditionally and was honored and loved by us all. He exemplified fatherhood at its best, and his family will be his enduring legacy.
He is survived by Jenne, his life partner of 64 years, and his children Storm (Kathleen) Smith of Hawaii, Teresa Smith of Carpinteria, Michele (Harry) Van Wingerden of Carpinteria, Duana (Marty) Dickman of Texas, Shannon (Larry) Chavez of Lompoc, Dion (Elizabeth) Smith of Carpinteria, Carrie (Stanley) Sergeant of Hawaii, Blaise (Nancy) Smith of Templeton, Lynelle (Fred) Nicholson of San Diego, Paul (Lynn) Wagner of Alabama, and honorary son Jonbi “Dibs” (Binna) Gudmundsson of Prague, Czech Republic; as well as his 30 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren, all of whom adored him. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Jerry, and his infant daughter Erin Clare.
Viewing and rosary will be held at St. Joseph’s Chapel on Seventh Street in Carpinteria on Thursday, March 4th at 7:00 pm. A mass of Christian burial will be at St. Joseph’s Church on Linden Avenue in Carpinteria, on Friday March 5th at 10:00 am, followed by graveside services at the Carpinteria Cemetery.
Happy trails to you, Dad…until we meet again.