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Gus's Story

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Gus E Smith, 64, recently of Alta, Calif., formerly of Meadow Vista, Calif,, passed away 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016. Gus was born on Nov. 10, 1951, in McLeansboro, to Charlotte Smith (née Carrol) and William Eddie Smith (JR). He attended grade school in the Chicago area, but went to McLeansboro High School, graduating in 1969. At the age of 17, Gus enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, where he was assigned to the 1st Combat Engineers Battalion and served in Viet Nam. It was during his enlistment that he learned and fell in love with the operation of heavy equipment. Upon completion of service, Gus returned to Southern Illinois and attended Rend Lake College. He then finished his undergraduate degree and earned his master’s of business administration degrees at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale After graduation, Gus worked in Chicago at International Harvester – Construction Equipment Division. There he met his future wife, Debra. In 1981, Gus joined Arthur Andersen (now Accenture Consulting) in Dallas. Gus would be with Accenture for the next 25 years, moving from Dallas to Toronto, Ontario, Canada (1989 to 1996), to San Francisco. Upon retirement, Gus and his family moved to Meadow Vista, Calif., and then to Alta, Calif., in 2011. Gus often said his greatest joy in life happened in July, 1987, with the birth of his son, Spencer. Gus was an avid golfer, fisherman, and gardener – being passionate about growing tomatoes. He enjoyed playing cards, barbecuing, and talking politics with friends. Retirement also found Gus moving to Alta, Calif., where he bought a bulldozer and excavator to blaze trails through his forest. Besides his wife and son, Gus had his four-legged children, American bulldogs, who he dedicated his jeep to their love of riding in the car. Gus loved his family, his friends and his country. Being a Marine was one of the biggest joys of his life. Gus is survived by his wife, Debra Allen Smith; his son, Spencer Allen Smith of Auburn, Calif.; his brother, Jim Smith of McLeansboro; his step father, Vernon Waller of McLeansboro; his step mother, Lois Smith of McLeansboro; his nephew, Jeremy D Smith of Mt Vernon,; and his mother and father-in -law, Wilma and Jack Allen of Tuscola He was preceded in death by his parents, William Eddie Smith and Charlotte Carrol Waller. Funeral services celebrating his life were held Friday, Feb. 26, at the Pioneer Methodist Church, 1338 Lincoln Hwy., Auburn, Calif., at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to either the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Organization (www.mc-lef.org) or Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital Foundation, 11815 Education St., Auburn, CA 95602, with a notation to “Infusion Center – Gus Smith.” Online condolences may be sent to the family via www.chapelofthehills-auburn.com
Published on  March 3, 2016
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