1/23/1933 ~ 1/3/2021
Our dear father, Allen Ray Smith, 87, returned to the waiting arms of his sweetheart on Sunday, January 3, 2021, after a short illness. He resided in Colorado Springs, Colorado since 1964, living a wonderful life there with his wife Mary Ann, and raising their five sons across from a park where Allen taught those boys his beloved game of football.
Allen was born in 1933 in Mt. Pleasant, Utah, to Sherman & Olive Truscott Smith. He never knew his oldest brother, Earl Sherman, who died in infancy, but Allen was blessed with an older sister, Betty, and brother, Sherden, and was followed closely, in almost every sense, by a baby brother, Oliver, who survives to cherish the memory of a sweet visit they shared together last summer.
Allen learned early to work hard, being taught as a boy how to care for farm animals by his Grandpa Truscott. The summers of his teenage years were spent working for neighboring farmers, mostly as a sheepherder, learning all that comes with that from his father. Allen spoke with pride, all his life, of his father’s responsible supervision of large herds of Rambouillet sheep, and he did his best to make his father proud of his own stewardship of a herd of some 3,000. As a 14-year-old boy, he was left alone for multiple two-week stretches over the summer, with his only human contact being the visits his dad made to bring him groceries.
He excelled, both as a student and as a fine person, during his school days. He was the valedictorian of his 9th grade class as he completed junior high, and was voted “the ideal boy” of his senior class. His accomplishments as an athlete propelled him to an opportunity for a college education, the first of his family to achieve that. He and his brother, Oliver, were a virtually unstoppable scoring duo on the basketball court, but his exploits as a quarterback were the stuff of local legend, and after graduation, he accepted an athletic scholarship to play football for Snow College in Ephraim, Utah.
After his first semester of being an outstanding student and quarterback, Allen added “husband” to his already-impressive resume when he married his childhood friend and high school sweetheart Mary Ann. Before he completed his two years at the junior college, he had added “father”, with the arrival of his son, Larry, and in his sophomore year, captain of the football team.
Allen transferred to Utah State, this time on an academic scholarship, to complete his electrical engineering degree. He graduated at the top of his class, earning multiple awards and honors. He was offered positions at GE and General Dynamics, but it was when Bill Hewlett, of Hewlett-Packard, came to Utah State to cherry-pick the top one or two grads from the engineering class that Allen found his career. He and Mary Ann and their two boys moved to Palo Alto, California, where he became one of the bright young stars of the early years of the age of electronics, working with cathode ray tubes and oscilloscopes. He advanced quickly, and soon he was offered the opportunity to move to HP’s new division in Colorado Springs. He worked for HP a total of 38 years, retiring in 1993 as the Division Quality Control Manager.
Allen was a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints throughout his life and served diligently and humbly in many callings. He loved the Savior, and treasured the eternal covenants of the temple. He served his ward as a bishop for a six-year tenure, while working full-time at HP. He also gave his time to service organizations within the community of Colorado Springs, particularly those fostering the development of youth with entrepreneurial interests.
He and Mary Ann served together as missionaries, both at the ward and the stake levels. After his retirement, they served an 18-month service mission administering the Bishop’s Storehouse, then eleven years as temple ordinance workers. They also served full-time in the presidency of the Denver LDS Temple for three years – he as a counselor and she as assistant matron. After her death in 2011, he continued serving in the temple, for a total of 22 years, leaving his service there in 2017.
He is survived by his five sons: Larry, Mark, David, Craig, and Brent, the five women that he always called daughters, not daughters-in-law: Irene, Pam, Tracie, Kathy, and Dana, nine granddaughters, seven grandsons, nineteen (soon to be twenty) great granddaughters, sixteen great grandsons. Among these 56 descendants, more than a dozen bear his name, evidence of how greatly admired and much beloved he is by them. He left a legacy of family togetherness, in part through the family vacations to California that he provided every two years, gathering as many as thirty of us for a week on the beach. He also left us a legacy of fidelity – to spouse, to the gospel, and to the covenants we have made.
Graveside services will be held Monday, January 18, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. in the Mt. Pleasant City Cemetery under the care of Rasmussen Mortuary.