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Official Obituary of

Aaron D Smith

October 10, 1941 ~ September 10, 2023 (age 81) 81 Years Old

Aaron Smith Obituary

Aaron D Smith stepped into Glory on Sunday, September 10, 2023

Aaron was born in Garrett, Indiana October 10, 1941 to Buford and Marguerite (Dirr) Smith.  The first thing he did was sneeze, thus the nickname “Sneezy”. He graduated from Garrett High School in 1959 and promptly joined the U.S. Navy on a “minority cruise” at the age of 17. He served as a weatherman at Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island in Washington, where he developed a love for adventure. 

After leaving the Navy, he graduated from Indiana University in 1968 with a degree in Geology, spending his summers working on the B&O railroad in his father’s footsteps. He was employed by Ottawa Silica Company to search for sand deposits around the country where he would camp out and was in a rock slide that hurt his knee. Later he moved to Australia for the same kind of work.  There he married his wife, Maureen, and became interested in opals, and later moved back to the U.S. to import them. This led to him becoming involved in the jewelry business in Chicago where he lived from 1975 through 2012. He was a very social person and made a lot of varied friendships there, where he lived in a high rise right on Lake Michigan.

He hunted until his knees would not let him, but he continued fishing his whole life. He fished inside the Arctic Circle and from a schooner in the Caribbean. He fished in the Great Lakes and all over the United States. After six years, his wife returned to Australia and he lived a bachelor life. This led one friend to buy him a fish ornament that said, “If he can clean fish, why not his house?”

He moved back to Garrett to care for his aging mother and continued to live in his boyhood home and socialized with his boyhood friends. He had a very sharp mind and could recall all that he had learned in life. He loved telling stories of his adventures, and when challenged with the facts, he claimed that his versions made the stories more interesting.

He was an elder in the Garrett Presbyterian Church, and a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles.

For over 20 years he organized the golf outing for the Garrett Schools Alumni Reunion each July, and received the honor of it being named after him. Although he had no children in his short marriage, he had joy in his later years to find he had an unknown daughter in Arizona.

He was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his daughter, Stephanie Klasa of Arizona, sisters Stephanie King of Columbus, IN and Melanie (David) Steiner of Indianapolis. He also had six loving nieces and nephews and their families: Kristi (Cary), Jacob and Jenna Guse of Columbus, IN;  Karianne (Terry), London and Cashdon McKinney of Plano, TX;  Kelli (Scott), Lexus and Lilly Bartkus of Broken Arrow, OK;  Kevin (Andrea), Kolton and Kaedon King of Carmel, IN;  Rachel (Mark) Burch of Greenwood, IN;  Adam (Kendal), Theodor and Grant Steiner of Delaware, OH.

A funeral service will be Saturday, September 16 at the Thomas Funeral Home in Garrett, IN at 12:00 p.m. with Rev. William Haworth officiating. Visitation will take place 2 hrs. prior from 10:00 a.m. – 12 p.m..

Burial will follow in Christian Union Cemetery – Garrett, IN

Memorials are to the Garrett Presbyterian Church

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September 16, 2023

10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Thomas Funeral Home
1277 C.R. 56
Garrett, IN 46738

Funeral Service
September 16, 2023

12:00 PM
Thomas Funeral Home
1277 C.R. 56
Garrett, IN 46738


Garrett Presbyterian Church
Garrett IN 46738


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