A celebration of life service will be held at 4 p.m. Monday, July 28, at the New Mexico Military Institute Chapel for Charles Frederick Smith. Frank Lewis Smith III will officiate. Charles passed away peacefully at his home with his family at his side on July 16, 2014, at the age of 91. Immediately following the service, family and friends are invited to a gathering at the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art, 409 E. College.
Charles was born March 25, 1923, in Roswell, to Frank Lewis and Evelyn Smith. His parents and his siblings, Ruth Jean Purcell, Frank Lewis Smith, Benjamin Fritz Smith, and Betty Jo Nelson preceded him in death.
He was also preceded in death by his childhood sweetheart and beloved wife of 64 years, Pauline, who greeted him as he passed.
Charles attended Roswell schools and graduated from New Mexico Military Institute in 1943 with the rank of Regimental Commander. In the fall of that year, he entered the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. He then entered the Naval flight-training program, in which he served until the end of World War II.
After the war, he returned to Roswell and married Pauline Crossen with whom he had four children: Cherry, Judy, Ben and Susan.
He was employed by the Pecos Valley Lumber Company, and in 1949, he founded the C.F. Smith Construction Company that eventually built over 600 custom homes in Roswell. He developed the subdivision around Capitan Elementary School and the Enchanted Hills subdivision with Max Littell and a group of other Roswell businessmen in 1954.
Charles became very active in community affairs and was President of the Roswell Independent School District when Goddard High School was built. He was President of the Eastern New Mexico University Board of Trustees, and Chairman of the Board of the Eastern New Mexico Medical Center and founding director of the Eastern New Mexico Medical Foundation.
He was President of the Roswell Association of Home Builders, President of the New Mexico Home Builders Association, President of the Roswell Rotary Club and Chairman of the Rotary Foundation Committee.
He was President of the New Mexico Military Institute Alumni Association and presided over building the Chapel.
Charles also served on the Board of Directors of the First Christian Church, the YMCA (both local and state levels), the United Way, the Roswell Chamber of Commerce, the Conquistador Council of the Boy Scouts of America, the Girl Scouts of America, NMMI Chapel Board, Roswell Association for Senior Housing, Mountain States Lumber Dealers, Roswell Downtown Merchants’ Association, and the Little League Baseball Association. He was also a representative for the United States Military Academy and a representative for the National Association of Home Builders.
Charles is survived by his sister, Jayne Spencer of Roswell, and his children Cherry Ford and her husband, Ron of Austin, Texas, Judy Smith and her husband, Larry Fields, of Roswell, Dr. Ben Smith and his wife Patti, of Roswell and Saratoga, Ca., and Susan Smith of Roswell.
He is also survived by his grandchildren and great grandchildren, Kristin Higginbotham and her husband, Rob Hause; their children, Kasey, Scott, Corey, Carly and Ryan; Patrick Ford and his wife, Becky; their children, Brooklyn and Ryan; Shannon Blackwell and her husband, Matt; their children, Tyler, Carter and Brody; Tyler Smith and his fiancée Kelli McKernan; Ashley and her husband, Dr. Lance Donaldson; their son, Trey; and Sam Smith, Max Smith, Jack Smith, and Auggie Smith.
The family would like to thank Drs. Amna and Hamid Feroze, Dr. Gabriel Stiller, nurses, Anita Marrujo, Bonita Almeda and Lisa Grant from Gentiva Hospice and a very special thanks to Maureen Novak, Alice Aragon, Lucille Quintana, Mandy Montano, Melody Novak, Kay Lykins and Jude Harris for taking care of Charles with unconditional love, care and devotion over 2 years.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to The First Tee of Southeastern New Mexico, NMMI Golf Course, 201 W. 19th, Roswell, New Mexico 88201.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Ballard Funeral Home and Crematory. An online registry can be accessed at ballardfuneralhome.com.