A loving husband, role model father and grandfather, and friend to all that knew him died on December 22, 2023 in Denver, Colorado after a long and valiant fight with dementia.
Loren was born in Keokuk, Iowa in 1942 to Gladyce and Leo Smith, second generation owners of a farm equipment store, and grew up in Carthage, Illinois. Loren enjoyed the outdoors and simplicity of growing up in small town middle America with his sister Candy and beloved dog Laddie and cat Tabby. Gladyce and Leo raised Loren in a Christian Community Church, nurturing his faith in God and forming the foundation of his kindness in spirit. Loren attended Carthage High School where he was on the high school golf team and was the first member of his family to go to college, graduating from the University of Illinois. After college and during the Vietnam War, Loren joined the United States Army rising to the rank of Captain—an enduring source of patriotic pride to all his family, particularly his wife Diane. Upon separation from the Army, he put his accounting degree to use, joining the Washington D.C. office of Price Waterhouse and then the finance department of Amoco in Chicago, Illinois where he worked until retirement in 1999.
While his professional life was important, his true passion was his family. Rarely missing a family dinner or an important event to one of his children, he led by example and demonstrated unequivocal and enduring love. And the love of his life and his best friend for 50+ years was his wife, Diane. Initially meeting in Washington D.C. and falling in love, they married in 1967. True partners in life they were an inseparable duo throughout the normal joys and tribulations of raising three children, moves to new places, and a well-earned retirement split between Naples, Florida and Vail, Colorado during which they enjoyed golfing, skiing, traveling, and various other hobbies. Over time, they developed a love of the beauty of the mountains and made Vail, Colorado their full-time residence where Loren continued hiking, biking, golfing, and skiing into his late-70s.
Loren and Diane have three children who remember him as a loving father, a great listener, always physically and emotionally present, and as someone with a profound sense of gratitude. Decades later, stories are still told about various summer car trips in the family’s faux-wood paneled station wagon. The actual destinations have long since been forgotten but the memories of the journey endure.
Loren was known as Poppie to ten grandchildren that treasured their time with him on golf cart rides looking for alligators, learning how to ski (and then quickly surpassing him!), playing Uno, or any other activity they could think of and he would eagerly join.
Loren is survived by his wife Diane Smith of Parker, Colorado; sister Candy Smith of Carthage, Illinois; daughter Catherine (husband Julio) Pita of Highlands Ranch, Colorado; son Michael (wife Kati) Smith of San Antonio, Texas; son William (wife Gretchen) Smith of Highlands Ranch, Colorado; and 10 grandchildren. He will always be remembered for his kindness and the way he made you feel. We couldn’t have asked for a better spouse, father, grandfather, and sibling and we will miss him dearly. His ashes will be interred in the Vail Memorial Park in Vail, Colorado during the summer of 2024.