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Leo Smith

Obituary for Leo Smith

June 22, 1934 - August 16, 2017
Clemson, South Carolina | Age 83


Leo Smith

Leo R. Smith went home to be with Lord on August 16th, 2017.

He was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming on June 22nd, 1933. The son of WWI veteran and Union Pacific Railroad Engineer, John N. Smith, and his wife, Irene Gibbons. Leo learned the value of hard work as a paper boy, and working on a railroad bridge and building gang. Drafted by the Army during the Korean War, he built airfields, expanding his construction experience. The GI Bill allowed him to earn his bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the University of Colorado. He built power plants and dams throughout the nation working as a boiler superintendent for Babcock and Wilcox. While building the power plant at Hartwell Dam, he met Barbara Hicks, the love of his life and wife of 53 years. Together they traveled the country with his work. In 1969 he received a Master's degree in civil engineering from Clemson University and became the contracts manager for B&W in Akron, Ohio. In 1974 he went to work for Daniel Construction as Project Manager for Plant Wansley in Carrollton, Georgia. As regional manager for Fluor Daniel in Kansas City, Missouri, he was responsible for the construction of multiple nuclear and coal generation facilities throughout Midwest. He retired in 1990 as Vice President of Construction playing a major role in the creation of the successful joint venture Duke Fluor Daniel. He enjoyed a long retirement, sharing with his family and many friends. He was known for his infectious smile, joyful laugh and caring compassion.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his son, Thomas, and his wife, Dawn; daughter, Heather Vasquez, and grandson, Austin. Special friends, Dennis and Rebecca Wong from China and Ro Thawng and Tom Dunn from Myanmar; brother in law, Jimmy Lewis Hicks and his wife, Mary Ann; sister in law, Joyce Oliver and her husband, Jim; serval nieces and nephews, whom he loved very much.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by, a sister, Rosemary Higgins and her husband, Edd, and a brother in law, Thomas Hicks.

He was the last surviving member of his immediate family.

Funeral services will be held at 10:00 AM Saturday, August 19, 2017 at St. Andrew Catholic Church.

Burial will be private at Memory Gardens.

The family will receive friends at the Corley Center at Clemson Downs from 11:45 AM until 1:30 PM, Saturday, August 19, 2017.

Flowers will be accepted or memorials may be made to the charity of choice.

Condolences may be expressed online at or in person at Duckett-Robinson Funeral Home, Central, which is assisting the family.

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Duckett-Robinson Funeral Home & Crematory

108 Cross Creek Road
Central, SC 29630
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