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Gerald Leroy Smith

Gerald Leroy Smith, age 69, of Cokato, died Friday, June 12, 2009, at Golden Living Center of Delano.

He was born Jan. 10, 1940, in Peoria, IL to Merle and Leona (Atkins) Smith.

Gerald grew up in Lewistown, IL and graduated from the Lewistown High School with the class of 1958.

After high school, he moved to Mound, MN and went to work for Lakedale Telephone Company. Gerald attended Dunwoody Institute, where he learned to be a telephone technician.

He retired from the phone company in 1976, and opened an auto business in Montrose. He also operated a trucking business.

Gerald married Mary Hein Thibodeau July 16, 1979, in Wayzata.

Gerald enjoyed boating, classic cars, and bluegrass music.

He was a member of the New Life Assembly Church of Cokato, the Minnesota Bluegrass Old Time Music Association, and the International Bluegrass Music Association, and enjoyed traveling to bluegrass events.

Gerald is survived by his wife, Mary, of Cokato; children Ted (Debra) Smith of Blaine, Scott (Jheng) Smith of Sacramento, CA, Craig of St. Paul, Brandon Thibodeau of Rochester, NY, Brooke (Jennifer) Thibodeau of Big Lake, and Amber (Jason) Moser of Eden Valley; 12 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

He is further survived by a brother, Richard of Bemidji; a sister, Rose (Bud) Wright of Lewistown, IL; brothers-in-law Otie Heffren of Lewistown, and Vern Nordstrom of Mound; and many nieces and nephews.

Gerald was preceded in death by his parents, Merle and Leona; children Darrell, Brian, Gregory, and Timothy; and a grandson, Justin.

A memorial service took place Saturday, June 20 at 10:30 a.m. at New Life Assembly Church of Cokato.

Arrangements were with the Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home in Cokato.