Fay “Sonny” Keith Smith, age 78, passed away from this earth at 5:02 a.m. Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital in Effingham, Illinois.
Funeral service will be at 11:00 a.m. Friday, June 28, 2019 at Pagel Funeral Homes in Edgewood, Illinois with a one-hour viewing prior to the service. Lester Halterman will be officiating. Burial will be at Farina Cemetery in Farina, Illinois. Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, June 27, 2019 at Pagel Funeral Homes in Edgewood, Illinois. In lieu of flowers, memorials may go to the Sonny Smith Athletic Scholarship at South Central High School or the donor’s choice.
Sonny was born on July 14, 1940 in Farina, Illinois, the son of Clarence T. and Elsa P. (Hassebrock) Smith. He married Sandra Steele on January 29, 1965. The two were inseparable and spent most of their time following their children and the 12 grandchildren to ballgames of all kinds. He also coached all four of his children in softball and baseball. Sonny was a lifelong resident of Farina, Illinois and spent his winters in Florida, fishing the waters of the Florida Keys in his prized boats named the Gambler and the Gambler II where he was considered a legendary fisherman. In 1960, Sonny began his business adventures by opening a Shell gas station on the south side of Farina. He later grew his service station business by opening a Standard station on Interstate 57. That business was followed by S and S Urethane which he later sold to his son, Shannon. Needing another endeavor, he opened S and S RV’s which currently operates under the direction of his son, John Henry. Smith Grove Orchards was his hobby and provided love of the outdoors that ran from 1984-1996. Sonny was a well respected businessman and was very proud of his hometown roots. He especially cherished his morning coffee friends at the local restaurant and winning the coin flips to see who would pick up the bill. The RV business also allowed him countless opportunities to meet new folk and reminisce about good times. He was an extraordinary storyteller.
He is survived by his beloved wife, Sandra Smith of Farina, Illinois; three sons, Shannon Smith (wife Tammy) of Farina, Illinois, John Henry Smith (wife Alecia) of Farina, Illinois, and Jeremy Smith of Farina, Illinois; daughter, Mia Smith of Wapella, Illinois; two brothers, Clarence Eugene “Bud” Smith of Ballwin, Missouri and John Terry Smith of Farina, Illinois; sister, Joyce Appleton (husband David) of Fresno, California; 12 grandchildren, Tabatha, Korren, Dylan Smith, Karrigan, Austin, Dylan Fulk, Matthew Halle, Colton, Callaway, Andrew, and Abbigail.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Clarence and Elsa Smith; and one sister, Betty Jean Smith.