Wesley F Smith, formerly of Beaver City and Arapahoe, NE passed away at his apartment in Cedarwood Assisted Living at Fairbury, NE on Monday, June 19, 2023. His parents were P.C. and Myrtle (Fleming) Smith of Beaver City, NE and his siblings were William, Jane and Wilma Jean who died shortly after birth. Wes is preceded in death by parents, siblings and lifelong friend, Richard Smith.
He is survived by his wife, Shirley, daughters, Polly Jo Auchterlonie of Wichita, KS, and Wendy Arneson of Beatrice, NE, grandchildren, Melissa Warkentine and John Breiner of Wichita, KS, and Dean A. Arneson of Denver, CO, and great grandchildren, Cole and Bailey Warkentine of Wichita, KS.
Wes attended Mt. Rastus rural school, south of Beaver City, NE and Beaver City High School. He attended University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Coyne Electrical School in Chicago.
Following their schooling, Wes and Rich went into business together wiring houses after R.E.A. came into the area. When they ran out of wiring jobs, they decided to take a lengthy road trip across the western part of the country. Following this adventure, they joined the army and served their country in Colorado and Alaska. They spent 2 ½ years together but were separated for the last 6 months of their hitch. Wes was mustered out in February of 1954 and on March 17 was married to Shirley Petersen of Omaha. Their children are Polly Jo and Wendy.
During the first 6 years of their marriage, they lived on a farm 3 ½ miles NW of Hendley, NE. They moved to Beaver City in 1960, and Wes worked for the city and did electrical work. In 1972 the family moved to Arapahoe where he was the Superintendent of utilities and streets. When he retired in 1995, he was the town handyman, much of which was on a volunteer basis.
When Wes’s health began to decline, they moved to Cedarwood, an assisted living facility in Fairbury, NE.