Skip to content

Carl Lewis Smith

Carl Lewis Smith

Carl Lewis Smith, 84, of Emden, Missouri was called home by the Lord on Thursday, March 7, 2024, in rural Shelbyville, Missouri. Carl was born April 24, 1939, at Clapper, Missouri, the son of Cecil Lysander and Cora Pauline (Harris) Smith, he was the fifth of 12 children.

He was united in marriage to Margaret Marie Winkler on June 2, 1962, in Billings, Montana. Margaret preceded him in death on April 26, 2003. Carl was also preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Donna Johnston Smith, three brothers, John, Mike and Ellis Smith; two sisters, Terry Schaffer and Dora D. Smith, one stepson and one foster, child, Paul, at age five.

Surviving are three children, James (Kate) Smith Houston, Texas; David (Tanya) Smith of Shelbina, Missouri and Heather (Everett) Hudson of Emden, Missouri, four stepchildren, Vickie Lamb, of Bellflower, California, Jimmy (Melissa) Pence of Carthage, Illinois, Johnny (Cheryl) Pence of LaHarpe, Illinois, and Timmy (Tresa) Pence of Lomax, Illinois, nine grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

Also surviving are three brothers, Larry Smith, David Smith, and Patrick Smith, three sisters, Marge O’Donnell, Phyllis Foser and Rita Smith.

In 1955, at Pine Creek Campground located in Paradise Valley near Livingston, Montana, Carl was born again in Christ, led to the Lord at the age of 16 by David Scofield.

On Christmas Day of the year, he turned 15, without word to their families, Carl and a neighbor boy struck out on their own, hoping to make it to Alaska. They hitchhiked as far as Montana, where the boys found jobs on separate ranches, and were made to inform their parents of where they were. It was agreed that Carl could stay in Montana as long as he finished high school.

While living in Montana, Carl milked cows, went on a 25-mile cattle drive, worked in logging camps hooking chokers and chains, worked in a bakery and a talcum powder factory, and hunted antelope, elk and moose.

He graduated Park County High School in Livingston, Montana in 1958. Carl finally made it to Alaska in 1959, driving a 1954 Studebaker Commander.

He went on to the Montana Institute of the Bible, and graduated in 1962. Carl met Margaret Marie Winkler, his first wife, while attending the Montana Institute of The Bible.

He and Margaret planted a church there before returning to settle in Montana. Even in his later years, Carl was an avid follower of the annual Iditarod Dogsled Race.

In 1967, Carl and Margaret moved to Emden, Missouri where they helped found and build the Community Baptist Church. He was an active member until his death.

In the 1970’s Carl and Margaret bought the Sam McElroy store in Emden. For several years, they sold general merchandise, gas, feed, and farm related items. He also changed tires, changed oil, and pumped gas for customers. The store’s motto was, “If we don’t have it, we’ll get it!”

In later years, their store became “the shop,” where Carl would work on projects with his distinctive imagination and ingenuity, usually with a grandchild or two running around. Friends and family stopped by often to help out or just to visit. The shop became the center of social life in Emden.

During the winters, the highlight was visits from the fur buyer, which almost always included excellent food and snacks.

Carl was a founding member of the Northeast Missouri Old Threshers Show in Shelbina, which started in 1988.

He was president of the club for many years and was instrumental in its growth. He loved collecting old tractors and restoring antique equipment, including multiple antique tractors, trucks, and a steam locomotive. The train, which he rebuilt from the wheels up, is on location at the NEMO Old Threshers Show in Shelbina, where it runs on a completed track.

Through his love of old machinery, Carl made friends from across the United States and in several countries worldwide. He never knew a stranger.

Margaret passed away on April 26, 2003, in Emden, Missouri. In 2006, Carl married Donna P. Johnston, and was widowed again on February 11, 2020.

After everything he did and accomplished in life, Carl said his biggest success was coming to know Jesus Christ as his Savior, and he would want the same for all of you.

No matter how full our lives here on Earth are, one day that physical life will come to an end and our new spiritual life will begin for eternity, either in heaven or in hell. If you don’t know Jesus today, Carl would encourage you to ask Him to forgive you for your sins and to come into your heart, so you can spend an eternity in heaven with Jesus and with him.

Services will be held Monday, March 11, 2024, in the Community Baptist Church at Emden, Missouri. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. and visitation will begin one hour prior to services.

Burial will be in the Hunnewell IOOF Cemetery. Pastor SD Bodwell will officiate the services. Casket bearers will be Luke C. Smith, Buddy Hudson, Andrey Totten, Brian Barrick, Josh Etteldorf, and James Hagerty.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Hudson-Rimer Funeral Home in Edina, Missouri.

Memorials are suggested to Emden Community Baptist Church, Neighbors Helping Neighbors, or the Northeast Missouri Old Threshers Show.

Memorials may be left at or mailed to Hudson-Rimer Funeral Home, P.O. Box 1, Edina, MO 63537.

Condolences may be left online at www.hudsonrimerfh.com