Emmett Lee Smith Jr., passed away on February 6, 2024, in his home in Goree, Texas. He was born on December 21, 1941, in Santa Anna, Texas, to his late parents, Emmett Smith Sr. and Vada Smith.
He graduated from Lovington High School in 1957 and later attended Otero Junior College, where he lettered in football, basketball, and track.
Emmett served his country in the Army, spending a significant time stationed in Korea until 1967. After his military service, he embarked on a fulfilling career in the oilfield industry, working for Amoco. He later discovered his true calling as a professional truck driver. He excelled at that, as he did with most things in his life. Eventually, Emmett’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to become the proud owner of his own trucking company, Trail Duster Trucking, until his retirement.
Retirement provided Emmett with the opportunity to pursue his passions fully. He relocated to Lake Kemp and eventually moved to Goree so he could be near Miller Creek, where he could be found most days out on the water, fishing with his buddies and having a cold beer and then having a few more as he cleaned all the fish and told jokes and stories. He also loved to hunt and loved getting back to New Mexico, where he grew up hunting blue quail with his dad and brother, and later with his sons. Emmett was the unofficial professional fishing guide at Miller Creek, although most would agree that he was as good at catching fish as anyone they’ve ever known.
Family always held a special place in Emmett’s heart, and he embraced every moment shared with his loved ones including his longtime partner, Jan Bownds; his daughter Starla Roberts of Midland, TX; his son Scott Smith of Lubbock, TX and his wife Emily; his son Kenneth Smith of Granbury, TX and his wife Melissa. His grandchildren; Staton Roberts and his wife Brittney, Chandler Roberts, Bryce Smith and his wife Montine, Alyssa Garrison and her husband Zachary, Masyn McKinney and her husband Ethan, M’Kenly Smith and Madi Smith; great-grandchildren Emmett Roberts, Scarlett Roberts, and Maxxon McKinney; brother Kenneth Smith and wife Linda of Lovington, NM. Other surviving family members include Chad Setters of Prosper, TX, Misty Setters Stine and Teresa Setters Landrum both of Hobbs, NM, with whom he shared an unbreakable bond.
Known for his larger than life personality and his gift for storytelling, Emmett was unforgettable to all who had the pleasure of knowing him. His anecdotes were legendary, captivating every audience member as his voice became higher and higher with every beverage consumed, until he ultimately hit that high C sharp pitch.
Emmett’s generous spirit and willingness to lend a helping hand to those in need earned him the admiration and respect of everyone who crossed his path and is known for having a huge and kind heart. He also lived each day to the fullest and it could be said that the song that best describes his life is Frank Sinatra’s song ‘I did it my way.’
To celebrate Emmett’s remarkable life, a Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, February 10, 2024, at 2:30 PM at the First Baptist Church of Goree.