NARRATIVE: BURDETTE SMITH
Sadly, Burdette Smith's death was responsible for a good
many of the recent improvements to Salem Cemetery. His
wife, Connie, and sons, Dennis and Doyle, used memorial
and other funds to install new gateposts and a new decorative
fence at the front of the cemetery, and also accomplished a
good deal of needed cleanup work in the cemetery itself.
Burdette grew up in the general Salem neighborhood. His
parents, Montie and Martha, owned and occupied for many
years the farm just east of Brush College that previously
was the home of my great-aunt and uncle, Harriet (Myers)
and Nelson Reynolds.
Burdette and his family developed one of Lucas County's
largest cattle operations, headquartered just across the
section southeast of Salem. Connie and her sons have
continued that operation, and run many cattle indeed on
many acres in the Salem neighborhood, including the
old Irwin Myers family farm which my dad sold to Burdette
and Connie when he retired.
Burdette is buried in one of the new lots created in the
former Salem churchyard, just east of where the church
once stood, with his infant daughter, Linda M. (27
December 1968-4 January 1969).
Willard Burdette Smith, son of Montie Cleo and Martha
Marie Ambelang Smith, was born June 24, 1933. He
passed away June 29, 1996, at the age of 63 years and
five days due to complications of multiple myloma.
Burdette was raised in Lucas County and graduated from
Chariton High School in 1951.
He served in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Germany
part of that time. He was employed by Brown Motor and
Implement as a partsman before entering the service. Following
his discharge, Burdette returned to Brown Motor and
worked until 1963, when he started farming full time.
He was a member of the NFO, the Lucas County Pork
Producers and the Lucas County Cattlemans. Burdette
was inducted into the Lucas County Outstanding Cattlemans
Hall of Fame in February of this year. He also served two
terms on the Farmers Co-op Board of Directors in Chariton.
He was married to Connie Marie May on April 6, 1957. To this
union, two sons and one daughter were born.
Burdette enjoyed farming and helping his sons and their
families get started farming. He also enjoyed the short
trips to Las Vegas with his friends.
He was preceded in death by his infant daughter, Linda
Marie; his parents; and his in-laws, Merle and Kathleen May.
Burdette is survived by his wife, Connie; his sons, Dennis
Wayne and wife, Lisa, and Doyle Duane and wife, Deanne,
all of Chariton; two grandsons, Bradley and Chad Smith; two
granddaughters, Bailey and Brittney Smith; his brother,
David Smith and wife, Sharon, of Chariton; two sisters,
Margaret Curtis and husband, Eldon, of Chariton; and Ruth
Argenta and husband, Don, of Ames; his sister-in-law, Karen
Stansbery and husband, Dick, of Chariton; several nieces,
nephews and a host of friends.
Funeral services were held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, July 1,
1966, at the Fielding Funeral Home with the Rev. Clyde
Sparks officiating. Burial was in the Salem Cemetery.
Serving as bearers were grandsons, Brad and Chad Smith;
nephews, Bruce and Bob Smith; and uncles, Bernard and
- The Chariton Leader, 9 July 1996