Obituary: Kenneth William Smith

Submitted by Cheney Witt Funeral Home

Kenneth William Smith, age 93, a resident of Fort Scott, Kan., passed away Wednesday, September 13, 2017, at Medicalodge of Fort Scott.

He was born February 19, 1924, in Pittsburg, Kan., the son of Walter and Vera Hesson Smith. After graduating from Pittsburg High School, he served in the U. S. Army, experiencing the Battle of the Bulge and Buzz Bomb Alley. He married Ann Dietz on February 26, 1949, in Pittsburg. She preceded him in death on July 19, 2016. Kenneth graduated with his teaching degree from Kansas State Teachers College in Pittsburg. He was working for Joe Smith Tobacco when approached by Jake Underwood to come to Fort Scott in 1950. He agreed, and started the Drivers Education Program and began teaching. Throughout his 39-year career, he taught mechanical drawing, shop, civics and math. He also taught at Fort Scott Community College. He coached several sports, most notably golf. He worked many sporting events over the years, including track meets. He officiated high school and college basketball and football. When he had spare time, he could usually be found playing golf. He still holds the Fort Scott Country Club course record for nine holes at 29. He liked playing gin-rummy and pinochle. He relaxed to music from the Rat Pack era. In his later years, he began raising cattle. He was president of the Fort Scott Saddle Club and enjoyed riding with his daughter, Kim. He loved spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church.

Survivors include two daughters, Connie Hayden and husband Dale, Manhattan, Kan., and Kim Sheets, Siloam Springs, Ark.; two sisters, Imogene Hannigan, Oswego, Kan., and Ilene Everett, Girard, Kan.; five grandchildren, Kristyn Hayden-Ortega and husband Darren, Emily Hoots and husband Eric, Lora Hanes and husband Adam, Colton Sheets and Lucas Sheets; four great grandchildren, Zoey Hanes, Charles Hanes, Claire Hoots and Harper Ortega; and numerous nieces and nephews. Besides his wife, he was preceded in death by a daughter, Vicki O’Bryan; a brother, Clarence Smith; and two sisters, Patricia Yanke and Wilma Workman.

Rev. Dr. Jared Witt will conduct funeral services at 10 a.m. Wednesday, September 20, at the First Presbyterian Church. Burial will follow in the U. S. National Cemetery. Military Honors will be provided by the Olson Frary Burkhart Post #1165 V.F.W. The family will receive friends from 5 until 7 p.m. Tuesday evening at the Cheney Witt Chapel. Memorials are suggested to FSHS Golf and may be left in care of the Cheney Witt Chapel, P.O. Box 347, 201 S. Main, Ft. Scott, KS 66701. Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at

One thought on “Obituary: Kenneth William Smith”

  1. Remember him well from Jr. High School and driver’s education. Always one of my favorite teachers. A really good teacher and a great man

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