Retired Delta Captain C.R. Smith, age 84, of Aurora, Colorado, passed away peacefully Sunday, July 5, after bravely fighting cancer for 8 years.
He is preceded in death by his beloved son, Charles R. Smith II. Survived by the mother of his three children, Diana Valencia, daughters, Donna Robin, Jeri April, son-in-law Lawrence Gallegos and family, grandson David Maestas, wife Elaine, and great granddaughter, Isla Fae. Brother, Don Joel Smith of Princeton, niece Mona Rhinehart of Paducah Kentucky, and brother Paul Wynn Smith of Corbin, Kentucky.
Memorial will be held Sunday July 26, at Heather Gardens Country Club, Sandberg Auditorium, 3-6 p.m. 2888 South Heather Gardens Way, Aurora CO 80014.
C.R. was a Golden Gloves Champion at 15. He joined the military at 18 and was a paratrooper in the, 82nd Airborne, FT. BRAGG, N. Carolina., during the Korean War. He enlisted, served, and then was recalled. C.R. was a fireman for the city of Miami, Florida and during that period, accrued his own pilot license hours privately, while working full time supporting himself.
He was a vocal political activist and wrote the White House on a regular basis. He volunteered in the community, many times played Santa Claus for Head Start, was a foster parent, and housed four teenagers, two babies, and four toddlers
C.R. mentored young boys in sports and gave them guidance throughout high school, directing them to make good choices. One of those men now is a Captain for United. Chris Carlson. He loved to talk politics and discuss the stock market.
He was a kind neighbor, always shoveling neighbor’s driveways and was a secret Santa, driving around at Christmas giving away 100 dollar bills to strangers. He was a dedicated athlete and logged over 30K miles, running 26 half-marathons. He started running when he was in his 20’s.
C.R. flew as a pilot for Western and Delta Airlines, and retired as Captain. He had a flawless record in the air throughout his 45 years of flying. He attributes his success to his parents, who motivated him and instilled an honorable work ethic. His parents (deceased) are Paul K. Smith and Fern Smith, of Princeton