Russell U. Smith, 79, of Houston, died on April 18, 2012 in Tyler, Texas. He was born on June 27, 1932, the sixth of six children born to Ellie U. Smith and Mary E. Tankersley Smith in Jacksonville, Texas. He is descended from the pioneer families of Stephen Upson Smith and Jobie Tankersley who settled in Cherokee County in 1853.
He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Eldred Smith, J. R. Smith and Stanley Smith and sisters Eloise Smith McKnight and Elizabeth C. Smith McKnight.
Mr. Smith is survived by nieces Beverly McKnight Beranek of Jacksonville, TX., Mary Ann Jones of Coppell, formerly of Tyler, Wanda Ray, and by nephews Alan Smith of Tyler, Norman Smith, Jobie R. Smith, David Smith and Clay Smith. Also surviving are cousins Jo Horn, Wanda Cunningham, Jan Childs, Elaine Beal and Paula Small of Jacksonville and Loris Dorris of Dana Point, CA, and many good and loyal friends.
Russell graduated from Jacksonville HS in 1949, attended Tyler Junior College, and then entered the Air Force. He served four years during the Korean War in Japan. He then graduated from the University of Texas Austin in 1958 with a degree in Chemical Engineering and worked for Rohm & Haas in NYC and London. He then moved to Houston where he worked for Ethyl Corp., retiring in 1992. He lived in Houston more than 50 years.
Mr. Smith traveled extensively and spent two summers as a guide at Glacier National Park. He was a runner, having run in 17 marathons around the country. He was active in the Houston Pachyderm Club & the Post Oak YMCA. He was devoted to giving educational opportunities to young people, establishing the Russell Upson Smith Family Endowment at UT Austin for scholarships. He was a member of the University of Texas Chancellor’s Council.
No services will be held at this time as it was Mr. Smith’s wish that his body be willed to the University of Texas Medical School in Houston. He was a Baptist. A memorial service will be held at a later time.