July 29, 1934 – August 1, 2023
Longtime Siskiyou County resident Wayne A. Smith passed away on August 1, 2023 at his home in Yreka following a short illness.
Wayne was born on July 29, 1934 in Yreka to Thomas V. and Mary Smith. He was the youngest of eight children. Wayne’s family lived along the Klamath River, where he attended the Honolulu School before the family began moving to various towns in California. Upon their return to Siskiyou County, the family made a home in Yreka, where Wayne finished his schooling. He was a proud graduate of Yreka High School class of ‘52, and he often talked of his high school days, where he and his friend Dick DeAvilla would set up pranks around town.
Following high school, Wayne proudly served his country in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He was honorably discharged in 1956 at the rank of U.S. Army Spc.3. After his discharge from the Army, Wayne went to work at Maginnis Chevrolet in Yreka before switching careers to work in the lumber industry. Wayne worked at Hi-Ridge Lumber Company for 34 years, retiring in 1996.
On June 15, 1957, Wayne married his sweetheart, JoAnn B. Sylvia of Hornbrook. They made their home in Yreka, where they raised their three children. Wayne shared his love of fishing, camping, playing ball and throwing horseshoes with his family. Many family get-togethers were held at the Smith home, where generations of family memories have been made. Wayne also enjoyed coaching his sons’ baseball teams and truly enjoyed watching his grandchildren’s and great-grandchildren’s sporting events.
Wayne was a proud member of the American Legion Ross Neilon Post 122, where he served as the Sergeant at Arms until his passing. Wayne contributed many hours to the American Legion so other veterans were shown respect and not forgotten.
Wayne’s family will fondly remember his sense of humor, willingness to help anyone in need, and that little bit of stubbornness that seems to run in the Smith blood.
Wayne is survived by his wife of 66 years, JoAnn B. Smith of Yreka; children and their spouses, David and Jean Smith, Richard and Jeri Smith and Penny and Danny Henson, all of Yreka; granddaughters and their spouses, Elissa and Jason Huffman, Becca and Chris Werder, all of Yreka, Michelle and Danny Gee of Medford, Oregon, grandson and spouse Nick and Tara Smith, and grandson David Smith and his fiancee Emily Smith, all of Yreka, and grandson and spouse Mitchell and Shannon Henson of Medford; great-grandchildren, Koltan, Kayson, Rhett, Kinley, Mackenzie, Merissa, Carson, Camden, Keegan and Drayson; and numerous nieces and nephews. Wayne was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas V. and Mary Smith, and his siblings, Jim, Hal, George, Ruby, Don, Anna and Bethel.
A Memorial Graveside service with military honors will be held on Saturday, August 12, 2023 at 10:00 AM at the Evergreen Cemetery Rotunda in Yreka. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Ross Neilon Post #122, P.O. Box 161, Yreka, CA 96097.
Final Resting Place
853 Evergreen Lane
Yreka, CA 96097
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