Memorial visitation for Thomas "Tom" Smith, 63, of Nacogdoches, will be from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM on Monday, May 8, 2023, at Laird Funeral Home.
Mr. Smith passed away April 30, 2023, in Nacogdoches. He was born October 7, 1959, in Peoria, Illinois.
Thomas Wayne Smith was a gentle man who enjoyed being outdoors. He was raised in Illinois where he was a barber for many years. He fell in love with Linda Park and decided he should ask her to marry him. He strategically placed a beautiful ring inside layers of duct tape and after a bit of work to free the ring, she said “Yes”! He and Linda were married in 1978 and built the life they always wanted. They enjoyed traveling on the motorcycle and taking trips to places where they made wonderful memories. In 1978, they made one last trek to Texas where his parents were living after retirement. They knew their home here would be filled with many more memories and they set out to begin making their retirement dreams come true while Tom continued working as a barber here in Nacogdoches at “Cutters”. He and Linda spent most every morning on the patio drinking coffee and talking about things that made them happy. Linda was content doing small things around the house or with the neighbors while Tom, the extrovert, had multiple hobbies to keep him busy and connected to his friends. He enjoyed shooting, riding motorcycles and other things which dealt him many friends here in Texas. He rode multiple places with his buddies on the bikes and even went to nationals one year in tactical pistol shooting. As with most of us, when Covid hit a few years ago, Tom had to revert to something with the same exhilaration as riding his bike that would allow him to spend time doing without having much contact with people except his closest friends. This led to his curiosity for flying. After processing the ins and outs of paramotoring, he knew this was his next adventure. He took the course, bought the equipment, and up he went. Tom loved nothing more than to be sailing high above everything…. mostly for the serenity but also for the spectacular views of the sunsets that God allowed him to see over and over. His adventurous heart was full of joy. He was super conscious of his safety as well as that of his close friends that flew with him. He was ready to “go up” anytime they were and never missed the chance to do so. In 2022, he felt honored to be featured in an article in The Daily Sentinel about his new hobby. Last week when he kissed his precious “Linnie” goodbye, he spent his final moments doing what he loved and flying into one last sunset from this side of life.
Tom is survived by his best friend and love of his life, Linda Smith of Nacogdoches and his precious mother, Elaine Smith of Nacogdoches. He is also survived by several nieces and nephews and a multitude of friends that will miss him greatly. He is preceded in death by his dad, Thomas Smith and brother, Jon Smith.
In lieu of flowers and by the family’s request, memorial donations can be made in Tom’s memory to Central Heights/Appleby Volunteer Fire Department at 909 CR 141, Nacogdoches, Texas 75965.
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