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Jerry Dean Smith


From Then To Now

I married Judy (Layden) in December of l960.  We have 5 children:  Jerry Jr.,  living in Anaheim, California; Mike,  lives in Chicago, Illinois;  Kevin, lives in Lees Summit, Missouri; Angela, lives in Maumelle, Arkansas; Amanda, lives  in Sallisaw, Oklahoma.  Judy and I also have l2 grandchildren, whom we have termed the "dirty dozen" ..

I have served as teacher, high school administrator, and superintendent of schools in Missouri and Arkansas for a total of 40 years.  I have earned university degrees through the doctorate in educational administration in l986.

Judy and I have retired from the education profession; she as a classroom teacher in 2007 and I as a superintendent in 2003.

We  spend most of our time in Church activities, love-sitting grandchildren, gardening. and traveling in tour groups and our  motor home.

My mother is living on the farm in Bernie, Mo. Charles and my sister Judy also live in the Bernie area.  My younger brother Randy live in Dexter area.

Our home now is in Clarksville, Arkansas.  It is located in the Arkansas River Valley..

We are planning to attend the 50th reunion of our class of 59.  I am looking forward to seeing everyone.

Jerry's Photo Album

Remembering Jerry ...

Remembering The Drive To Save My Life

For Jerry Smith’s Mom–Mrs. Opal Smith

July 1948


The Second Grade with Ms. Penrod had just started because we had the “summer session” of school in part of July and August before the “cotton picking” vacation at our school.  Unable to remember the day of the week, but was not able to attend school due to being ill.  My Mom and Dad were going to take me to the doctor, but the truck would not start.  Dad and my brother were attempting to start it by priming the carburetor with gasoline from a can, and this attracted my attention.  I walked over by the truck just as the gasoline exploded and there was a rather large fire.  My clothing caught on fire, and the natural impulse of a young person is to run thinking this will extinguish the blazes.  My Mom shouted and I ran to her, and she was able to put out the fire.


The truck would not start and emergency medical care was needed.  Cranston and Opal Smith, Jerry, Charles and Judy lived about a quarter of mile east of the home place on 8 ditch.  Mom grabbed me and away we went–running as fast possible while carrying a seven year old.  When we were a short distance from the house, Mom began to shout for help which caused Jerry’s Mom to come running outside.  She obviously knew there was only one thing to do–Jerry’s Mom, my Mom and myself were in the car in a flash–and the drive began that saved my life!


Down Highway 153 we went as fast that the car would go–through Little Walnut onto the gravel–the wheels left the ground as we went over the railroad–to McGuire–onto Highway 25 to Malden for First Aid at Dr. Carlstrom’s Office.


In later months and years, we would talk that we think that Jerry’s Mom hit 80 miles per hour on the paved roads and we went over the railroad track on the gravel probably at 60 miles per hour because the car really hit bottom when we landed on the gravel past the railroad track!  Jerry’s Mom could sure drive, and she never got excited! 


Mrs. Opal Smith, Mother of Jerry Smith,  made a drive that saved my life!


Years later in 1958 or 1959, Jerry and I were coming from Gideon in my brother’s car, and we decided that we would “do 80" miles per hour from Gideon to Little Walnut–we never hit 80 because the “fear factor” would not permit us to hit more than 60!  We kinda looked at each other, and we thought of the drive his Mom made on a July Day in 1948 that saved my life!


Thanks, Mrs. Opal Smith!


Thanks, Jerry for your friendship!


Art Cole

June 2006

Classmate and Friend 

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