Wilfred "Smitty" E. Smithson Profile Photo
1937 Wilfred "Smitty" 2024

Wilfred "Smitty" E. Smithson

December 31, 1937 — February 6, 2024

Bellevue

Wilfred Eugene (“Smitty”) Smithson, age 86, passed away on February 6, 2024 at his home in Bellevue, Iowa. He was born December 31, 1937 in Green Island, Iowa, son of William and Lois Smithson. He graduated from Miles High School in 1955 and attended the University of Dubuque for one year on a basketball scholarship. His first employment was as a bookkeeper/logistics for Trausch Bakery. During that time he met Phyllis Mielke and they married on July 27, 1957, enjoying 66 years of marriage, rarely spending any length of time apart. Wilfred and Phyllis had three daughters, Kathleen (Dr. Leonard) Kloft, Cynthia (James) Corrie, and Karen Smithson.

Wilfred eventually went into the trucking business with his father, hauling livestock for local farmers into the Chicago Stock Yards and continued that business on his own and with Phyllis for 15 years. They were hog buyers for the NFO and also hauled anhydrous from the Bellevue Plant north of town. Toward the end of his trucking career, he started a snowmobile and mini-bike business eventually turning that into a full-service recreational camper business that he and Phyllis had for 31 years. They retired in 2000 due to health reasons,but continued to provide repair services for those who asked. After retirement, Wilfred and Phyllis spent their winters in Alamo, Texas until 2019.

Wilfred was a member of the local Rotary International for a number of years, serving a term as President of the local chapter, and took their motto “Service Before Self” to heart. He was always willing to jump in to help anyone in need. This proved true when he was part of the snowmobile run to rescue snow-bound John Deere workers, assisted most years in helping the Shady Haven campers when flood waters threated their campers, hauled numerous trailers from Elkhart, Indiana, to Louisiana for FEMA after Hurricane Katrina making multiple trips back and forth. His life-long service to the Bellevue Community was recognized when Wilfred and Phyllis were selected as Grand Marshalls for the Holiday Parade.

Wilfred and Phyllis belonged to a snowmobile club and made multiple trips West to enjoy the snow in the Yellowstone area. On two trips he provided his semi-driving services and trailer to haul all of the members’ snowmobiles to Yellowstone.

Wilfred loved to fish and he and Phyllis were out on the river for many years. He loved teaching his daughters to fish and later on his grandchildren. Wilfred was known for his fish-frying expertise and they hosted many gatherings both in Bellevue and in Texas. He enjoyed visiting with many customers who became life-long friends from the tri-state area. Many summer weekends you could find him at Shady Haven around a campfire. If fishing wasn’t on the agenda, at least a boat ride for his family was. His love of family was the most important thing in his life and was always quick to lend a helping hand with building projects, repair projects or advice when that call came in to “ask Dad” how to fix something.

Wilfred is survived by his wife Phyllis, his three daughters, four grandchildren LTC Elizabeth (LTC Barrett) Campbell, M.D.s, CDR Heather Kloft, DVM, Alexander (Catherine) Kloft and Adam Corrie; and four great-grandchildren, Cayleigh, Orion, Fionn and Theron Campbell, as well as sisters-in law Elaine Smithson and Evelyn Schneider, and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, and his brothers Gerald Smithson, David Smithson, and nineteen brothers and sisters-in law.

 A memorial service and celebration of life will be announced at a later time.

Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www.hachmannfuneralhome.com



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