Roy Edwin Smith (1921-2009) Obituary

Roy is a new find for me.  I found his branch of the Clemmons family about a month ago.  What makes this one a little more interesting is that I am related to him twice.

First, he is a descendant of Obediah Merritt and Priscilla Clemmons.  Priscilla and Ethedred Sr. were brother and sister.

Second, his grandmother (on his mothers side) was Florence Jane Sewell.  Florance was the daughter of Amanda Jane Martin and Daniel W. Sewell.  Florence was also the half sister of my great great grandmother Nancy Lucinda (McGuire) Clemmons. My grandfather Harry and Roy were second cousins and lived fairly close to each other and probably didn’t know they were related.

Roy Edwin Smith (1921-2009)

Roy Edwin SmithEAST PEORIA – Roy E. Smith, 87, of East Peoria died at 11:50 p.m. Wednesday, April 8, 2009, at his home.

He was born July 24, 1921, to Verna (Merritt) and Robert Smith in Mount Vernon, Ill. He married Ella Bernice Easley on Oct. 24, 1942, in St. Louis, Mo., and they celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary last year. She survives.

Also surviving are seven sons, Ralph (Lavern) of Nashville, Ill., Patrick (Mary Ann) of Peoria, John of East Peoria, Paul (Arlene) of Chillicothe, James (Kathy) of Orlando, Fla., Timothy of East Peoria and Daniel (Kim) of Rockford; two daughters, Elaine Elser (Larrie) of Sheridan, Mont., and Susan Patten of East Peoria; one brother, Ralph; and one sister, Roberta.

Preceding him in death were his parents; one son, Stephen; and five brothers, Dime, Floyd, Sidney, Claude and Dick.

He had 16 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

He was employed for 43 years by Illinois Bell Telephone Company, from 1939 to 1982, when he retired. He started as a lineman and worked his way up through many technical positions to Toll Wire Chief. He was well-respected by his colleagues as a troubleshooter of almost legendary renown. He was project supervisor for many high-profile cutovers and projects. He was chief steward of IBEW as a craftsman in Mount Vernon and was a fair and generous supervisor and manager, gaining the respect of union employees and upper management alike.

He was a member of the Telephone Pioneers of America for more than 30 years.

He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Morton since his return to Illinois from Florida in 2005. He was a church deacon for many years, and was a faithful and dedicated churchgoer and servant of God his entire life.

He loved to play bridge and golf, and belonged to several bridge clubs.

He never met a stranger and would engage any person he met in conversation.

He could fix anything that broke, and there was no subject that he did not fully understand, or speak intelligently about.

He was dearly loved by his family and friends, and will be missed terribly by those closest to him.

He was an honest and honorable man of conviction, and his passing will sadden the hearts of those whose lives he touched. We shall not see his like again in this life.

A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Monday, April 13, 2009, at the First Baptist Church of Morton. There will be additional funeral services in Mount Vernon, Ill. Visitation will be Wednesday, April 15, 2009, at the Hughey Funeral Home from 5 to 7 p.m. The funeral will be at Hughey Funeral Home on Thursday, April 16, 2009, at 10:30 a.m., with the Rev. Wendell Garrison officiating. Interment will be in Williams Cemetery in Jefferson County, Ill. Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Hughey Funeral Home, where you may call (618) 242-3348 or visit for further information and to send condolences.
Published in the Peoria Journal Star on 4/11/2009

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4 Responses to Roy Edwin Smith (1921-2009) Obituary

  1. Jim Smith says:


    Roy was my father – he was a charming man who exercised great patience with his kids and most people he met. The world is a lesser place without him.

    Jim Smith,


  2. Paul A. Smith says:

    Roy Smith was my father, he was very much aware of his Clemmons relationship. I just wish I would have taken notes, he knew an abundant amount of information. I was out at Wilson cemetery in Mount Vernon, IL a few weeks ago and took photos of all the Clemmons, Smith, Scott, Merritt, Karch, and Ford headstones I could find. These were the names and dates I found there.

    T.F. Clifton 1842 – 1930
    S.J. Clifton 1854 – 1930
    M.J. Clifton 1881 – 1899
    Kenneth Clifton 1915 – 1959
    Frank Clifton 1885 – 1956
    Minnie Clifton 1888 – 1963
    Lawrence Clifton 1911 – 1948
    Henry J Clifton 1874 – 1946
    Janie Clifton 1876 – 1919
    Howard J Clifton 1917 – 2002
    Ruby M. Clifton 1913 – still living


  3. Paul A. Smith says:

    Sorry, These were the Cliftons, not Clemmons. But we are related through Obediah Merritt (1790 – 1863) who was married to Priscilla Clemmons (1790 – 1860) daughter of Samuel T. Climmons (1751 – 1837) and Martha Coggins (1756 – 1800)


  4. Deborah Skillington says:

    Daniel W Sewell and Amanda were my 2nd g grand uncle and aunt. I would love it if I could have a copy of you post. I would be glad to work with you. Daniel fought in the Confederacy if you are interested. Thank you. Deborah


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