Charles Winfred “PeeWee” Smathers passed away May 6, 2017, at the age of 83. PeeWee lived most of his life in the small town of Valley Spring, Texas.
PeeWee was born Jan. 23, 1934, in Brownsville, Texas, to Forrest and Ella Mae (Heyen) Smathers. He was one of seven children: James, Frances, Marion “Bud”, Lester “Sleepy”, Harriet, and Marilyn.
PeeWee attended college in Uvalde. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in January 1957 and went through basic training at Fort Bliss in El Paso. He was then transferred to Fort Chafee, Arkansas, for mechanic schooling. After his schooling, he was sent to Fort Jackson, South Carolina, where he served as private, motor pool mechanic.
PeeWee received an honorable discharge from the Army in January 1959. After his discharge, he returned to Llano County and his job at the Texas Highway Department in Llano, where he worked as the “Sign Man” from 1955 before entering the Army until 1992, when he retired. He is honored on the World War II Veterans
Monument on the Llano County Courthouse Square.
On June 24, 1960, he married Mary Lou Ricketson at First Baptist Church in Llano. He loved to talk about their two children, Renee’ Smathers of Stephenville and Rick Smathers of Valley Spring. However, PeeWee’s main interests in life were his grandchildren: Jacey Leigh Smathers and Slade Kelby Smathers.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Mary Lou Ricketson Smathers; daughter, Renee’ Smathers; son and daughter-in-law, Rick and Jodye Smathers; and grandson, Slade Smathers. Other surviving relatives include brother and sister-in-law James and Patricia Smathers; sister-in-law Carolyn Smathers; sister-in-law Mayme McEachran; brother-in-law Pug Lange; brother-in-law and sister Jimmy and Marilyn Smathers Reid; and numerous beloved nieces and nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews, and great-great-nieces and great-great-nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Forrest and Ella Mae (Heyen) Smathers; brothers Lester “Sleepy” Smathers and Marion “Bud” Smathers; brother-in-law and sister Clayton and Frances Barrick; sister Harriet Smathers Lange; and his precious granddaughter Jacey Leigh Smathers.
Visitation for PeeWee is 5-7 p.m. May 8 at Waldrope-Hatfield-Hawthorne Funeral Home, 307 E. Sandstone in Llano, (325) 247-4300. A service is 10 a.m. May 9 at First Baptist Church in Llano. He will be laid to rest in Valley Spring Cemetery after the service.
Pallbearers are Chip Slade (nephew), Glen Reid (nephew), Leon Tucker, Horace Oestreich, Pug Lange (brother-in-law), and Jimmy Reid (brother-in-law). Honorary pallbearers are Russell Ricketson (brother-in-law) and James Smathers (brother).
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Jacey Smathers Memorial Scholarship Fund at Tarleton State University, Box T-260, Stephenville, TX 76402.