Richard “Jake” Smart

05/27/1941 — 03/13/2024

From West Richland, WA | Born in Toledo, OH

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Celebration of Life

Sat, April 6, 2024, 3:00 pm
Pasco-Riverview Seventh Day Adventist Church
605 Road 36 Pasco ,WA 99301

Richard “Jake” Smart

Richard Joseph Smart was born May 27, 1941, in Toledo, OH, the eighth of ten children in the family. At a very young age, he was given the nickname “Jake,” which stuck with him his entire life. His childhood was spent in the “Ironville” neighborhood where he and his friends would have adventures near the railroad tracks and at the creek, playing and causing mischief from dawn to dusk. At age 16, Jake and his friend, Bernd, kayaked an extensive length of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, from Toledo to New Orleans, a trip that forged a lifelong friendship and many fond memories.

After Jake graduated from Macomber High School in 1959, he enlisted in the US Air Force, serving as a radar technician with a F-106 Delta Dart crew, among other duties, giving him experiences that would shape who he was for decades to come. He served his country proudly during a difficult era. It was while he was in the Air Force stationed at Selfridge Air Force Base that he met his first love, Barbara Jean Joyner, through a mutual friend. Jake and Barb married on March 23, 1963, in Birmingham, MI. He was honorably discharged from the military shortly thereafter, and the young couple moved to Las Vegas, NV where a few of Jake’s sisters and their families lived, and where he began work at the Nevada Test Site. They welcomed all three of their children into the world while living in Las Vegas. Hunting jackrabbits and collecting snowflake obsidian, Apache tears, petrified wood, and countless other rocks while out boondocking were favorite pastimes during his years in the desert.

In 1973, the family moved to Wappingers Falls, NY for what Jake described as “two years, two months, too long.” During this time, he was employed at the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant, which was still under construction. He missed the openness of the desert and was soon ready to move on. So, in 1975, he accepted a job with Westinghouse-Hanford at the Fast Flux Test Facility in Richland, WA. The family drove across the country that summer; Jake and Barb in the front of the pickup truck and the kids in the camper with their six-month-old puppy, Nuke. They settled into life in the community they would call home for the remainder of Jake’s life.

Jake was an active leader in Boy Scout Troop 250 for many years, planning and leading countless camping, hiking, kayaking, and canoeing trips. He was a lifelong amateur radio operator (WB7CKL and N7JRA), and loved to tinker in his shop, priding himself on being able to fix just about anything. As the kids grew into their teen years, he helped each of them rebuild a vehicle – a couple of Volkswagen Bugs and a golf cart. Jake and Barb enjoyed traveling, and took many extensive road trips, crisscrossing the country.

In 1997, he retired from his work as a quality control engineer at FFTF with Westinghouse. Jake and Barb had high hopes for more travel and spending time with their grandchildren during retirement, but those dreams were cut short. In the fall of 1997, Barb’s cancer came out of remission, and the next 18 months were spent with Jake caring for her until her death in June 1999. No longer needing a large home and ten acres of property, Jake downsized to a smaller house in West Richland. He still did some of the things he and Barb had planned, like buying a Harley Davidson (or two) and riding across the country, and spoiling the grandchildren.

In time, Jake met Judy Anderson, and these “two lucky ducks” married on August 8, 2008. Jake and Judy spent several years traveling around the United States enjoying the many splendors of the country, visiting friends and family, and spending a handful of winters in the Tucson, AZ area. Jake often said he was grateful to have met such a wonderful woman as Judy at this point in life, and his family is grateful for Judy’s love and care for him, especially in his declining health.

Jake was a man of quiet faith. He knew, loved, and trusted in Jesus Christ as his Savior. Above all, he would want you to know that you, too, are worthy of the grace given by God through the death and resurrection of Jesus, not by the things you do but by faith alone. “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 (ESV). “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not by your own doing; it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8 (ESV).

Jake died peacefully at home in the early hours of March 13, 2024. He is preceded in death by his first wife, Barb; his parents, Elmer and Helen (Gibson) Smart; his siblings and their spouses, Isabelle (Roual) Mayhugh, Delcie (John) TenEyck, Sonny (Mary) Smart, Marilyn (Earl) Fruits, Jimmy (Vernadyne) Smart, Jean (Jerry) Florek, Jerry (Donny) Miller, Sharon (Bill) Thone, Karen (Del) Durham, and many extended family members and in-laws. He is survived by his wife, Judy; his children, John (Lynae) Smart, Hank Smart, Jenny (Jon) Page; stepchildren, Michal (Joey) McCamman, Greg Anderson; grandchildren, Ellie (Seth) Rosser, Katelyn Smart, Jack (Devin) Page, Keri Smart, Woody Page, Kelly Smart, and Ian, Rhys, and Toby McCamman; great-grandchildren, Judah and Bobbi Rosser, and Tommy Page; and many extended family members.

A graveside service with the immediate family was held on March 18, 2024, at Sunset Gardens, Richland, WA. A memorial service with military honors will be held on Saturday, April 6, 2024, at 3:00 PM, Pasco-Riverview Seventh Day Adventist Church, 605 Rd. 36, Pasco, WA 99301.

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Richard “Jake” Smart

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  • I only saw Jake a few times in my life. I am a great nephew(grandson of his sister Marilyn). In the late ninties during a family trip we stopped by the house and visited. He showed me how to shoot a bow and arrow.

    Marc Cutler
    April 7, 2024
    Las Vegas, NV
  • I was blessed to meet Jake many years ago via ham radio. We had many conversations and super good laughs over the years! We drifted apart from each other recently and didn’t see each other in person but we had some unforgettable phone conversations that would go on for sometime until one of us had to go do something. One day I had Jake on my mind and started to give him a call that evening. I looked at my watch and it was pretty late so I didn’t make the call because I didn’t know when he went to bed. A few days later his son Hank stopped by with news Jake had passed! Took the news as best I could, but it was a SHOCK! I lost a Very Special Friend that I shall forever miss! I know he is in a very special place now. Jake was one of the greatest men I will ever know. God bless all his family and let them find peace and comfort

    Bob McKibbin
    April 6, 2024
    Richland, Washington
  • I’m one of the 250 Scouts. The obituary says Jake is “A man of quiet faith”. To me this describes Jake perfectly! Lord knows being a Scoutmaster – I’m sure his faith was tested many times – You would never know it! I have many great memories of Jake – AKA Mr. Smart. Thank you for being a positive part of my life, that I will never forget.

    Jim DeRosa
    April 5, 2024
    Des Moines, wa
  • As extended family we always enjoyed conversations with Jake. He was a kind and generous grandparent and a pleasure to know.

    Jerry and Jeanne McCamman
    March 27, 2024
    Crescent City, CA
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