Jerry Millard Smith, age 90, of Norman, Oklahoma, passed away March 22, 2022. He was born on August 20, 1931, in Oklahoma City, the first of two sons of Millard and Lucille Smith. At an early age, the family moved to Wichita, Kansas. Jerry attended the University of Kansas and earned a BS Degree in Architectural Engineering. During his college years, he married Erma Lee Lutz. They had two children, Stephanie Jo and Sara Lorraine. After graduation, he served time with the U.S. Marine Corps.
His interesting and diversified career began with an engineering firm in Topeka. He later returned to Lawrence as a member of the faculty of the Engineering School at KU. During this period, he furthered his education with courses in architecture and political science. Graduate school followed with a Masters Degree in Public Administration.
After an internship and service in Lawrence as the Administrative Assistant to the City Manager, Jerry was selected as City Manager of Parsons, Kansas. He later reentered the private sector where his license as a Professional Engineer served him well in his role as President of Anchorite Products. He then returned to the public arena as City Manager of Pittsburg, Kansas, before relocating to Norman, Oklahoma, to serve as City Manager.
Following his career in public service, Jerry was appointed Senior Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer of Sooner Federal Savings and Loan with home offices in Tulsa, Oklahoma. After several years, he left Sooner to establish his own companies, including JMS and Associates, Inc., a consulting firm for financial institutions, Bridgestone Properties, Inc., a real estate company, and VLS, Inc., a real estate holding company.
Jerry married Verna Lee in 1981, a marriage that became closer with each passing year. The marriage formed a big family, bringing together Jerry’s two daughters, Lee’s two sons and their children. During their 40 years together, Jerry and Lee were actively involved together in business, their home, their church, family and friends, and their enjoyment of travel.
Jerry is survived by his wife, Lee; his daughters, Stephanie Smith and husband James Genova of Columbus, Ohio, and Sara Bonnell and husband Larry of Los Angeles, California; his sons, Stanley Moore of Norman, Oklahoma, and David Moore of Houston, Texas; his five grandchildren; one great grandson; and his sisters, Carole Morriss and husband, Randy of Wichita, Kansas, and Susan Kendall and husband Kirby of Wichita, Kansas. He was preceded in death by his parents, Millard and Lucille Smith; and his brother, Richard Smith.
Memorial donations may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.