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Richard “Dick” R. Smith Sr.

Richard R Smith Sr., 85, of Brant Lake and previously of Wilmington, passed away Friday, June 4, 2021, with family by his side, following a brief illness.

Born at his home on Brant Lake on Aug. 6, 1935, he was the son of Ralph Smith and Helen (Duell) Jones.

Dick attended Horicon Central School, home of the Bulldogs, and was an avid sports competitor in football, basketball and baseball. He was the quarterback of the Horicon football team in the Marcy six-man touch football league, which in its first year won the championship.

He was a die-hard New York Yankees fan and enjoyed attending spring training in Florida meeting players and managers over the years. He also loved his Chicago Bears.

In his early years, Dick drove a stock car named “The 8 Ball.” He worked painting houses with Francisco Painting and with his friend Floyd Wells. He and his first wife Helen owned The Gateway Restaurant and Gift Shop at the foot of Whiteface Mountain in Wilmington. In the winter months, he worked at the Gore Mountain ski center, operating the gondola, and was a revered high school basketball referee. He was an active volunteer with the Horicon Volunteer Fire Department for more than 20 years and became the chief in the early 1960s.

Dick also enjoyed hunting, fishing, and a good round of golf. He was the proud owner of race horses at the Saratoga Harness Racetrack.

Survivors include his wife of 19 years, Helen Elaine (Bolton); sister Natalie (Tom) Wells; first wife, Helen (Persons), the mother of his seven children, Rick (Cindy) Smith, Laurie (Wayne) Kennedy, Christine Hayes, Marilyn (Holzer) Smith, Darlene Smith, Thomas (Kristena) Smith, and Loretta (Andy) Carpenter; 15 grandchildren, Angela, Melissa, Andrew (Rick’s); Wayne Jr, Joshua (Laurie’s); Karen (Christine’s); Cliff II, Jessica, Steven, Krista (Marilyn’s); Zachary, Austin, Gabrielle, Alexis (Thomas’); Kristian, (Loretta’s); 19 great-grandchildren; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins, along with numerous close friends.

Dick is predeceased by his parents, Ralph and Helen, brother Robert (Bob) Smith, nephew Paul Smith and stepfather Thomas Jones.

A burial service will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, July 9 at the Brant Lake Cemetery, behind the Horicon Museum on state Route 8 on A gathering will take place immediately following at the Horicon Town Hall, previous site of the Horicon Central School.