Cover photo for Joe Smith's Obituary
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Joe Smith

December 27, 1936 — June 26, 2024

Wichita

Joe Smith

Leon Joseph Smith, fondly known as Joe, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, June 26, 2024, at the age of 87. Born the eighth of nine children in the family home near Cawker City, Kansas, Joe was a beloved member of the Smith family and a cherished friend to many.

Joe was preceded in death by his parents, Philip and Celestine (Hake) Smith; his son, Quinn Smith.

He is survived by his loving wife, Madonna Smith, whom he married in 1959; his son and daughters-in-law, Rodney and Brenda Smith, and Kim (Jim) NewHouse; his daughter and son-in-law, Valarie and Andy Lester. Joe also leaves behind his beloved grandchildren: Cody Smith, Carson Smith, Carter Smith, Tyler Drinner, Mercede Dreiling, Jacob Lester, Andrew Lester, and Dylan Lester, as well as seven great-grandchildren.

Joe's life passion outside his family was baseball. From a young boy, he loved listening to the St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas State University sports on the radio. He played high school and town ball and also served as a coach and umpire. When Joe and Madonna started their family, he passed his love of baseball to his children and grandchildren. Over the years, ball teams adopted him as their team dad and eventually team grandfather, often referring to him as Papa Joe or Grandpa Joe at the ballparks.

Joe began his upholstery career at the Barnett Hassock factory in Cawker City, KS, in 1958. In 1961, Joe moved his family to Wichita, KS, to work for Beech Aircraft. He retired from Beech Aircraft/Raytheon in December 1999 as a Crew Chief. His dedication to his work and his passion for baseball left a lasting impact on everyone who knew him.

Joe's life was marked by love, dedication, and a strong sense of family. He will be remembered for his warm heart, generous spirit, and the countless memories he created with his family and friends. Joe's legacy will live on in the hearts of all who knew him.

Visitation with family will be from 5:00-7:00pm, on Friday, June 28th, at the Cozine Life Events Center. Graveside service will be at 10:00am, Saturday, June 29th, at Dunlap Cemetery in Rose Hill, Kansas. In lieu of flowers, memorials have been established with the American Cancer Society, PO Box 6704, Hagerstown, MD 21741; and Westurban Baseball, 6900 W. 13th St. N., Wichita, KS 67212. Share condolences and view tribute video at www.cozine.com. Services by Cozine Memorial Group – Cozine Life Events Center.

Joe will be deeply missed, but his memory will continue to be a source of comfort and inspiration to all who were fortunate enough to know him.

 



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Past Services

Visitation

Friday, June 28, 2024

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

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Graveside Service

Saturday, June 29, 2024

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

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