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Gary Smith

August 16, 2023
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Gary Neil Smith, age 85, died suddenly at home in Baker City, Oregon, August 16, 2023.  A public Memorial Service will be held on Monday, August 21, 2023 - 10:00 a.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Baker City.  Interment will be at Mt. Hope Cemetery.  Close friends and family are invited to join the family for a reception to be held immediately following the interment back at the church. 

Gary was born in La Grande, Oregon in 1938. He was the first of three siblings born to Muriel and Neil Smith. His family moved to Baker in 1940 for work, where he met his eternal companion, Dorothy Conklin when he was 16 and she was 15.  He was in high school, she in Jr. High.  He knew early on, he would marry her. He was a three-sport athlete and she was a song leader and queen.  They dated throughout high school. He graduated from Baker High in 1956 and enrolled in Oregon Technical Institute, studying diesel mechanics in 1957.  He married Dorothy that same year, a month after her high school graduation and the partnership was formed. Dorothy was his biggest fan and together there wasn’t anything they couldn’t accomplish.

Three years after their marriage, they had their only son Mike, and three years after that, they had their only daughter, Susie. Their kids and their families were their greatest joy as they spent much time throughout the years camping, fishing, hunting, boating, riding motorcycles, 4-wheelers, being at the cabin, traveling and just spending time and having fun together.  He was the ultimate family man! He was active in sports, work, the outdoors and serving others his entire life-up until the day he died. In fact, he mowed the lawn and weeded his garden the morning of his death!

He served eight years in the Army National Guard and was a business owner of Gary Smith Trucking for 60 years.  His professional life was spent in the logging, timber and trucking industries, which he loved. Gary drove semi-trucks until nearly his last day on earth.

Gary loved Baker City and took a genuine interest in all the people who lived here.  He was a friendly, people person and was a natural born leader.

Gary served as President of the Oregon Log Truckers Association, was on the 5J School Board Budget Committee as well as the City of Baker Equipment Purchasing Committee.  Gary also volunteered as a baseball coach for many Little League and Babe Ruth teams through the years, impacting many young people teaching them the game of baseball as well as life skills. He was one of Baker High’s biggest fans of all sports.  

He was constantly serving others, leading a Christ like life and at the age of 76 decided to be baptized and joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was sealed to his wife and family, creating an eternal family he was proud of. While with family, he would often be heard saying ‘It doesn’t get better than this!’ And that pretty much sums up his life.  Gary loved his life and all who were in it.

He is preceded in death by his parents aforementioned and survived by wife of 66 years, Dorothy, Children: Mike Smith, (Tracie), & Susie Carson, (Steve), Grandkids: Brett Smith (Kirsten) Brooke, Sierra, Cooper, Tyler Smith (MacKenzie), kids Macie, Max and Sydnie, Dekker Smith (Kyra) Kids: Merrick & Mazey, Matt Harris (Kylee Harris) Daughter-Goldie, Cami Carlson, Siblings: Midge Cole, Larry Smith (Teresa) and many nieces and nephews.

For those who would like to make a donation in honor of Gary, the family suggests the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Baker Branch) through Tami's Pine Valley Funeral Home, PO Box 543, Halfway, Oregon 97834.  Online condolences may be shared at


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Memorial Service
August 21, 2023

10:00 AM
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- Day Saints
2625 Hughes Lane
Baker City, OR 97814

August 21, 2023

11:00 AM
Mount Hope Cemetery, Baker City, Oregon


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