Richard A. Smith



Dr. Richard A. Smith, 79, of Sumner, died on Friday, July 7, 2017, at the Cedar Valley Hospice Home in Waterloo.

Memorial services will be held 11:00 a.m. Saturday, August 5, 2017, at the American Legion Hall in Sumner with Barb Grabill officiating. Family Inurnment will be held at Lima Cemetery, rural Wadena, with military rites by Thomas E. Woods Post #223, American Legion of Sumner. Visitation will be from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. Friday, August 4th at Becker-Milnes Funeral Home in Sumner and for one hour preceding services at the Legion Hall on Saturday. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in his name to the Cedar Valley Hospice. 

Richard Allen, son of Merrill R. and Myrtle A. (Cassutt) Smith was born February 11, 1938, at the family’s home in Guttenberg, Iowa. He received his education in the Elkader Schools graduating from Central High School in 1956. Dick completed his pre-optometric studies at Upper Iowa University in Fayette and went on to receive his Doctor of Optometry degree from Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago on June 2, 1961. While at Illinois College of Optometry, Dr. Smith was president of the Hawkeye Club and a member of the Beta Sigma Kappa national graduate honor society. Following graduation Dr. Smith was licensed in Iowa and Minnesota. Dr. Smith enlisted in the Medical Service Corps of the United States Air Force as an optometrist and honorably served from August of 1961 to August of 1964 and the United States Air Force Reserves until being honorably discharged in July of 1967. While serving in the Air Force, he met Barbara J. Bracken and they were united in marriage on June 10, 1963, in Athens, Greece. Dr. Smith began his private practice in Sumner, Iowa in 1964 and practiced for forty-five years prior to retiring in July of 2009. He was a member of the American Optometric Association for fifty-one consecutive years. Dr. Smith was a volunteer for the American Red Cross Service to Military Families, Sumner City Council from 1986-1989, was an EMT with SEMS, a member of the American Legion of Sumner, Jaycees, and Lions Club. He was also a registered official with the Iowa High School Athletic Association for football in the 1960’s and 1970’s and was a baseball umpire. He enjoyed fishing and boating on the Mississippi River, golfing, watching birds and squirrels, but most especially enjoyed going to his grandkids activities.

In addition to his wife, Barb of Sumner, Dr. Smith is survived by his children, Erik (Lori) Smith of Cannon Falls, Minnesota, Tracy Smith of St. Paul, Minnesota, and Tony (Gina) Smith of Elkader; seven grandchildren, Kim (Trevor Boyd) Smith, Nicole (Jon Nelson) Smith, Bracken Smith, Muriel Smith, Logan Slaght, Sumner Smith, and Parker Smith; four great-grandchildren, Alyson, James, Brandon, and Olivia; one brother, Merrill (Elaine) Smith, Jr. of Mt. Dora, Florida; one sister, Jackie Moon of Omaha, Nebraska; one sister-in-law, Penny Bracken of Rochester, Minnesota, and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Donna Rippey; two brothers-in-law, Ted Rippey and Ronald Moon; and one great-grandson, Vladimir Boyd.


TripleFuhrmann on July 25, 2017 at 8:22 PM said:

Hi Barb-
You and your family are in my prayers.
Warmest Regards,
Stephanie Jean Hultman on July 21, 2017 at 6:48 PM said:

So sorry to hear of 'Doc's' passing. He gave me the ability to see my world with 20/20 vision and less rose colored glasses along life's journey. Will always remember him once telling me, "my next pair of glasses would be a seeing eye dog!" He always made me laugh and was one of the best ....
Gretchen (Gitch) Warkentin on July 14, 2017 at 8:53 AM said:

Barb, Erik, Tracy and Tony,
I am so sorry to hear about Dick's passing. I appreciated his sense of humor, and the care he provided when I was a patient of his. He lived a good life. Blessings to you all.
Jay and Lisa Heying on July 14, 2017 at 7:56 AM said:

Barb, Erik, Tracy, and Tony,. Very sorry to hear of your loss. I have very fond memories of the time I spent hanging with Erik and your family. our thoughts are with you and the family and may his memories guide you through the sorrow.
Nancy (Teeling) Pierson on July 14, 2017 at 7:22 AM said:

Dear Barb and Family,

My condolences on your great loss. I am so very sorry. I was so fond of Dick, as I worked in the same office when I worked with Doc Hennessy. We would harass each other on a daily basis ~ and we all loved his wonderful sense of humor. He will be greatly missed by his community. God Bless.
Dawn Jurgensen on July 14, 2017 at 6:39 AM said:

My deepest sympathies to all.
Lynn Scott on July 14, 2017 at 6:32 AM said:

Barb, Erik and family - all of you have my deepest sympathy on the loss of Doc Smith. He was quite the character and a very good man. He made an impact on many lives over the years and will be greatly missed. One of the great memories is my Dad always commenting that all his money got spent in that one building between Dr. Smith and Dr. Haw. Celebrate his life and all of the great memories made over the years. God Bless all of you. (Unfortunately I will be out of town and won't be able to make the visitation or service)
Diane {Meyer} Dockendorf on July 14, 2017 at 6:19 AM said:

Thoughts and prayers to the entire family at this time of loss. "Doc Smith" will be missed by many in the Sumner Community. He always had a smile on his face and was very kind a caring to all who knew him. God bless.
Jane Reimler Biskup on July 14, 2017 at 6:09 AM said:

Dear Barb and family: So sorry to hear of Dicks passing. I met you and Dick while I was in high school. I worked as his optometric assistant. So many great memories. Just saw him at my dad's funeral in January. Will keep you in my prayers.
Jane Reimler Biskup on July 14, 2017 at 6:07 AM said:

Dear Barb and family: So sorry to hear of Dicks passing. I met you and Dick while I was in high school. I worked as his optometric assistant. So many great memories. Just saw him at my dad's funeral in January. Will keep you in my prayers.
Dianne Scott Strickler on July 13, 2017 at 8:44 PM said:

So sorry to see of Dr. Smith's passing. Many an eye check up with him. My sympathies to you all.
Ryan and Sheri Wilkinson on July 12, 2017 at 8:31 PM said:

Our thoughts go out to you and your family. Ryan enjoyed that "Doc" came to so many of his wrestling meets with his Dad. He will truly be missed!
Marcy Meyer on July 12, 2017 at 6:16 PM said:

My deepest sympathies. "Doc" was a family man, a man with integrity and soul. He is a legacy in Sumner and will be remembered for his expertise for many, many years. God's grace be with all of you. He is looking down from above!
Cami Neale on July 12, 2017 at 4:27 PM said:

Dear Barb and Family, You are all in my thoughts and prayers! Dick was an amazing family man and it shows in his children and grandchildren. You will forever be remembered by all whose heart you have touched in our lives! Much love to you Barb!
Kim Oleson Hohensee on July 12, 2017 at 4:24 PM said:

Dear Barb, Erik, Tracy, Tony and Families! I am saddened to hear of Dr. Smith's passing. He was my first optometrist and one I will remember for years! He helped me convince my mom to let me get contacts in 7th or 8th grade! :) He left a wonderful legacy and family. Now you will forever have a guardian angel with you always! Love, hugs and prayers to all of you!
Nicole Smith on July 12, 2017 at 4:07 PM said:

I will forever miss u until I see u again. I love u so much and will continue to keep our memories alive.
Doyle and Linda Wegner on July 12, 2017 at 9:42 AM said:

You touched the lives of so many people. Our lives will be different without you. Praying for you Barb and your family.
Kim Smith on July 11, 2017 at 2:33 PM said:

I sure am going to miss you grandpa!! Forever in my heart!!
Dick and JoAnn Hughson on July 11, 2017 at 1:33 PM said:

We really enjoyed Doc as a neighbor and friend at the river cabin in Harpers Ferry. He was a great man! Our sympathy to Barb and the family.
Sandra Jaschen on July 11, 2017 at 10:04 AM said:

Dear Barb, and all Doc's family,
We have lost a great guy. When Dave and I moved from Sumner years ago, I continued to see my friend Doc Smith for my eye exams regularly. I always joked with him he could retire but he would have to keep me for a patient. I always enjoyed visiting with him and he was a good Doctor for my eyes.
He will be missed by all who knew him and we will have good memories to carry us threw this sad time.

Our thoughts and prayers to all the family.
Sandy Jaschen

Becker-Milnes Funeral Home

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