Cover photo for Gene Smith's Obituary
1932 Gene 2023

Gene Smith

August 6, 1932 — March 4, 2023

Eugene Phillip Smith

"Smitty"

Eugene Phillip Smith, 90, of Missoula, passed away on March. 4, 2023 of natural causes.

He was born on August 6th, 1932, in Anaconda, MT to William & Una Smith. As a young boy the family moved to Bremerton, WA and after a short time to Vallejo, CA where he attended grade school. Eventually settling in Sonoma, CA where he completed high school in 1950.

He remained in Sonoma and worked in the local farm & ranch community but also ranches in Northern California, Texas, Nevada & Montana. In his mid 20's he began his career in auto repair working for Tilden Ghiggioli at the 4 Corners Garage in Sonoma. Spending 4 ½ years there before moving to San Rafael where he received specialized training working at a General Motors dealership. He returned to the 4 Corners Garage & became a partner then owner/operator when Mr. Ghiggioli retired.

On November 9th, 1957, he married Rosalie Estment and the couple remained in Sonoma. In 1960 they welcomed their first son and 2 years later, always wanting to return to Montana, they moved to Anaconda where their second son was born and later settling in Missoula. After working a couple of different jobs, he met Jack Roemer who hired him as lead mechanic at Roemers Tire & Auto on E. Broadway. He & Jack worked well together, becoming lifelong friends, and after 30+ years retired in 1993. During that time the family had moved to Lolo and he & Rosie divorced in the mid 80's. He stayed in Lolo and after a few years met Jeanette Ankeney. They became close friends and partners purchasing a home together in Missoula. He continued living there after Jeanette's passing & remained outgoing and active.

He was an active member of the Masonic Lodge, as well as, The Eagles, Moose & The Elks. Alongside close friend Doris Makela he enjoyed golfing, managing & playing in local dart & pool leagues, traveling around the state and spending time with friends & family. Throughout his life he loved being outdoors whether gardening, fishing, hunting or just roaming the open country. Always quick with a smart remark & a story, willing to help when needed. A good husband, father, grandfather & friend.

Survivors include his older sister Margarette Howard, younger brother Richard Smith, sons; Randy, Doug & daughter in law Stephanie Smith, five grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.

A family gathering & memorial is planned for August 5th 2023, place and time to be announced.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Gene Smith, please visit our flower store.

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