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Edwin R. Smith of Chester

  • Edwin R. Smith

    Edwin R. Smith

updated: 1/10/2022 1:22 PM

Edwin R. Smith, 81, of Chester, Illinois, passed away at 11:50 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 7, 2022 at Three Springs Lodge Nursing Home in Chester.

He was born to the late Renwick A. and Ella I. (nee Phegley) Smith on July 9, 1940 in Chester, Illinois.

After high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served from 1959-1962 in Germany. After returning home, he was employed by the Illinois Department of Transportation, a private construction company, and finally by the Illinois Department of Corrections until his retirement in 2001.

Ed loved anything outdoors. He was an avid hunter of ducks, geese, pheasants, squirrels, rabbits and deer. Until just a few years ago, Ed walked many fields in search of arrowheads, spear points, axes, hoes, pieces of pottery or an effigy. One of those searches resulted in a historic find of 10 Dalton points in a cache he discovered in 1976, which are now in the Museum of Native American History in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Carving and painting duck decoys was one of his favorite pastimes and they were extremely popular locally as well as nationally. Ed was always excited to find an auction that was selling Indian artifacts, coins, fishing plugs and antique firearms.

Ed was a member of Mary Help of Christians Catholic Church in Chester, VFW Post #3553 in Chester, American Legion Post #487 in Chester, the Eagles Club Aerie #3252 in Chester and he was a lifetime member of Disabled American Veterans.

During his lifetime, he was also involved or had been a member of Ducks Unlimited, International Ammunition Association, North American Trap Association, Audubon Society, National Rifle Association, Mississippi Valley Gun Club, National Fishing Lure Association, Genuine Indian Relics Association, Central States Archaeological Society, Midwest Decoy Collectors Association, the Illinois Sheriffs Association, the Chester Boat Club and A.A.R.P.

He is survived by his son, Clinton (Jill) Smith of Salt Lake City, Utah; his special friend, Ruth Ann Welge of Chester; four siblings, Barbara Gulick of West Palm Beach, Florida, Rita (Richard "Dick") Heinze of Creve Coeur, Missouri, Renwick "Butch" (Marty) Smith of St. Charles, Missouri and Sr. Janet Smith, ASC, of Ruma, Illinois; three grandchildren, Miren, Ethan and Griffin Smith; and several nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Ed was preceded in death by his parents and a brother-in-law, Phil Gulick.

The funeral service will begin at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022 at Pechacek Funeral Homes in Chester, officiated by Msgr. Daniel J. Jurek. Interment will follow at St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery in Chester.

Visitation will held from 10 to 11 a.m. on Wednesday at the funeral home.

Memorials are suggested to the American Diabetes Association and St. Mary's Catholic School in Chester.

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