Gary L. Smith

Gary Lee Smith, 74, of Mason City, formerly of Britt, passed away on September 19, 2022, surrounded by his family.

CLICK HERE to view Gary Smith’s Memorial Slideshow

Memorial service will be held on Friday, September 23, 2022 at 11:00 AM at Ewing Funeral Home, 178 Center Street West in Britt with Pastor Robert Dodge officiating. Burial will be in Evergreen Cemetery in Britt.

A visitation will be held from 10:00 AM -11:00 AM on Friday at Ewing Funeral Home, 178 Center Street West in Britt.

Gary Lee Smith, 74, of Mason City, formerly of Britt, passed away on September 19, 2022, surrounded by his family. Gary was the firstborn of Jack and Leona Smith’s four boys. He spent the first years of his life living on the family farm north of Wesley, followed by a few years living in Iowa Falls. When Gary was a freshman in high school, the family moved to California, where he graduated from Charter Oak High School in 1965 in Covina, California. After high school, Gary obtained a certificate in Architectural Drafting.

In 1979, he married Tracy Goodman-Malamuth and he and Tracy had one son, Ben. They were later divorced but remained very close friends. In 1989, Gary married Donna Duncan. Together Gary and Donna raised their daughter, Nicole. In 1998, Gary had had enough of California and moved his family to Britt, Iowa, a move that brought him closer to his extended family. He often told people that this was the best of his life’s decisions. He was proud to introduce his kids to the Midwest and happy to see the opportunities the move provided to them. Gary was a hard worker and had a job lined up upon arriving in Iowa. He worked for Winnebago for 8 years and then for Cargill for 12 years before retiring in 2018.

Gary Smith, who was never without a beard, was a soft-spoken man with a big heart. You could often find Gary tinkering in the garage and his family was rewarded as he had an uncanny ability to fix anything. He was also an avid reader, counting Stephen King as one of his favorite authors. Gary was also an appliance manual aficionado. His love of cars was a thing to behold. He had many cars over his lifetime and for each car, he also owned the Chilton manual. Nothing made him happier than watching car shows with his kids. He was a true storyteller and had a story for every model of car. Gary was one of a kind.

Gary never met a stranger; he was able to converse with anyone, typically talking about his kids or cars. He was a fantastic dad, a phenomenal grandpa, and a wonderful brother. Gary radiated love, a love that will be hard to duplicate but one that we should all attempt to emulate. He would want us to remember that each person has a story and that being kind is the gift we bestow on one another. Gary believed in “paying it forward,” a belief that we witnessed as he held open doors, bought lunch for strangers, checked on his neighbors, or picked up the neighbor’s garbage cans. Gary knew it was these little things, these small acts of kindness, that make a difference in a person’s life.

In his cheering section is his son Ben Smith (Jaime) of Clear Lake; his daughter Nicole (David) Stein of Iowa City; children of choice Ariana (Daron) Dean and Joe (Johanna) D’Amato; grandchildren Hannah Reick, Hunter Reick, Hayden Reick, Bentley Smith, Rigby Stein, and Ian Stein; his brother, David (Faith) Smith of Sale Creek, TN; and Aunt Lavonne (Gene) Smidt of Kanawha; along with many nephews, nieces, and cousins. Gary was preceded in death by his wife of 23 years, Donna; parents, Jack and Leona Smith; and brothers, Thomas Smith and Mark Smith.