Funeral services for Burlin D. Smith, 90, of Brownwood, will be held 10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 30, 2016 at Heartland Funeral Home with Rev. Russell Williams and Rev. J.A. McDaniel officiating. Interment will follow in Eastlawn Memorial Park. The family will receive friends from 6 to 7 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.
Burlin Doyle Smith Sr. was born on March 8, 1926 in Hall Valley to George Boyd and Letha Vera Cheek Smith. While attending school in Richland Springs, Burlin had to leave in the tenth grade when he was called to serve our country. On July 25, 1944, he entered the United States Air Force at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio and served in the 421st Night Fighter Squadron. While serving during WWII, Burlin received his carbine marksmanship and received the asiatic-pacific campaign ribbon with two bronze stars, the Philippine liberation ribbon with one bronze star, a good conduct medal, victory ribbon, two overseas service bars and the occupation ribbon Japan. He was honorably discharged on July 27, 1946 at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio.
On May 1, 1948, Burlin married the love of his life, Claudia Hoover in Brady and to that marriage was born Treva Matthaei, Sharon Gotcher and Burlin Doyle Smith Jr. He was a dedicated Christian man who loved the Lord first and foremost and had been a faithful member of Faith Baptist Church since 1969, when he moved his family to Brownwood. He soon began working at 3M in the Mix and Mill as a color corrector and retired after twenty years.
Burlin Doyle Smith Sr. had previously been the Director of Child Evangelism Fellowship, Inc. for a number of years in San Antonio. Child Evangelism Fellowship is an organization whose sole purpose is to reach un-churched children for Christ. He was later the Director of Child Evangelism over Kerr County. After having moved to Brownwood, he became one of the very active men who delivered the gospel to prisoners in Brown County.
Burlin had few interests in life other than winning souls to Christ and working outside in his garden or pecan trees. He was a man who didn’t particularly enjoy small talk, and if he was talking it would ordinarily be about the Bible or his garden and pecan trees. His favorite Bible verse was John 3:16, which he quoted to members of his family in a whisper just days before he went to his home…he was just passing through to his final destination. He went home to Jesus on Wednesday, July 27, 2016 in Brownwood.
Survivors include his loving wife of 68 years, Claudia Smith; daughters, Treva Matthaei and husband Jack and Sharon Gotcher and husband Billy; son, Burlin Doyle Smith Jr.; sister, Bertha Lou Hrochovy and husband Bill; and brothers, Roy Lon Smith and wife Wanda and Maylon Richard Smith and wife Deloris. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Mark Gotcher, John Thomas Smith, Kristi Lyn Huxford, Chad Alan Smith, Mary Solis, Becky Contreras, D.J. Rios and Franklin Doyle Smith; along with great-grandchildren, Gabriel Gotcher, Aden and Avery Solis, Shooter Huxford, Eli and Eden Contreras, Levi, Carter and Rylee Smith. His ex-daughters-in-law, Vicki Wheeler and husband George and Patti Daniel and her husband, Blane, were also loved by him and continued to be part of the family. Numerous nieces and nephews also survive him.
He was preceded in death by his parents, George Boyd and Letha Vera Smith; brothers, Rex, Vernon, Amiel, Robert and Billy Clyde Smith; and sisters, Zetha Mae Ketchum and Etta Fay Cornell.
Online condolences may be left for the family at www.heartlandfuneralhome.net