Gary Richard Smith
Gary was a loving father, grandfather, brother and friend. He died suddenly on May 1, 2021 at the age of 78.
He was born the second of nine children to Harold and Alma Smith on November 13, 1942 in Plentywood, Montana. After graduating from high school, Gary entered the US Navy and served in the Six Day War before his tour was over and he settled in California. Following a long career in theatre management, Gary found his niche in construction and he formed his own finish carpentry business. Gary’s handiwork can be found in many upscale custom homes in Bakersfield.
Gary’s lifelong fascination with Corvettes grew during this time and he thoroughly enjoyed his friends in the Corvettes of Bakersfield. Many of the current members of COB recently honored Gary with a drive-by Corvette parade, and he was so appreciative.
Gary was part of the Vietnam Vets Honor Flight in May of 2015 and it profoundly impacted him. He was so proud to be amongst his fellow Vietnam vets, and he enjoyed all the memorials they visited. He talked fondly of that trip for the rest of his days. Much thanks to the local Honor Flight organization and the awesome chaperones who make these trips possible.
Gary is survived by his three children: Matt (Joy) Smith, Megan (Andrew) Tabangcora, and Michael Smith. He had six grandchildren: Madison, Kayla and Ian Smith, Alexis Ramos; Riley and Molly Jane Tabangcora, brother Arnold, and sisters, Jean, Alice and Doris.
A private service is scheduled for May 21, at the National Cemetery in Arvin.