Glee S. Smith, Jr.



** The memorial service to celebrate the life of Glee Smith, Jr. will be held at the First Presbyterian Church, 2415 Clinton Parkway, Lawrence Kansas on Friday, December 4th at 2 pm. Family visitation will follow in the fellowship hall. **



Glee S. Smith, Jr., age 94, former Kansas State Senator and longtime Larned and Lawrence lawyer, died November 16, 2015 in Lawrence, Kansas. He was born in Rozel, Kansas, April 29, 1921, the son of Glee S. Smith, Sr. and Bernice Augustine Smith.

He was married to Geraldine Buhler at Trinity Episcopal Church in Lawrence, Kansas, December 14, 1943. They lived in Larned from 1947 until 1991, when they moved to Lawrence.

He is survived by his wife of the home, sons, G. Sid Smith, III, of Alexandria, Virginia, Dr. Stephen B. Smith, Nebraska and his wife, Laurie, of Omaha, a daughter, Dr. Susan K. Moeser, and her husband, Dr. James Moeser; of, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, three grandchildren, Courtney Smith Duncan and her husband, Graham, of New York City, Jacob B. Smith, and his wife Kim, of Phoenix, Arizona, Dr. Kylie Galfione and her husband, John, of Houston, Texas, and their mother, Cheryl C Smith. He is also survived by six great granddaughters and three great grandsons. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Arlyn G. Smith of Tucson, Arizona.

Glee graduated from the University of Kansas in 1943 with a degree in Journalism, and in 1947 with a Juris Doctorate. He was a member of Delta Tau Delta social fraternity, Sigma Delta Chi Journalism fraternity, Phi Delta Phi legal fraternity, and Order of the Coif, honorary legal fraternity.

He served in World War II as a First Lieutenant aerial navigator in the Army Air Corps.

Smith devoted his life to a three part career in the practice of law, public service and political action. He had been admitted to the practice of law in all Courts from local Kansas Courts through the Kansas Supreme Court, the Federal Courts, the United States Supreme Court, and the Court of Military Appeals, Washington, D.C. His practice in Larned was first in partnership (1947) with the late Judge Maurice A. Wildgen, since 1958 with Donald L. Burnett, and, since 1975, with both Burnett and Jerry G. Larson. He was also of Counsel from 1991 to 2014 with the Lawrence, Kansas law firm of Barber, Emerson, Springer, Zinn and Murray. L.C.

Many of his leadership positions at various levels of service have included national participation such as service as one of the five Kansas Commissioners on Uniform State Laws since 1963, and National Legislative Chairman and member of the National Executive Committee of that Conference for 12 years.

He was one of three Kansas lawyers in the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association for 10 years, and the only representative for four mid-western states on the Board of Governors of the American Bar Association for 3 years, where he served on the National Executive Committee and chaired the Operations Committee. Glee was also a fellow of the American College of Probate Counsel and Kansas Chairman, as well as a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

He was a 67 year member of the Kansas Bar Association and served on its Legislative Committee since 1963, and was a 20 year member of the KBA Board of Governors

From 1975 to 1979, he served as one of the nine original members appointed by President Gerald Ford as the First Board of Directors of the National Legal Services Corporation.

Glee’s service at the State level included 16 years in the Kansas State Senate, 1957 to 1973, and the last eight of those as President of the Senate. During his service as Senator, he was the first Chairman of the Kansas Legislative Coordinating Council — which he had helped to create — Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.

He also served for 8 years, 1975 to 1983, as a member of the Kansas Board of Regents, including two years as Chairman.

He was a Past President and longtime member of the Board of the Kansas State Historical Society, and a past Chairman and member of the Board of Trustees of the Kansas 4-H Foundation, Inc.

Other state offices and honors include:

President, Kansas University Alumni Association, 1991-1992, and member of its Board of Directors and Executive Committee, 1990-1996, and he and his wife, Geraldine have been Life Members of the Kansas University Alumni Association since 1952.

*Member, Board of Directors of the Kansas University Endowment Association, and Chairman of one of its three major operating committees.

*Board of Governors of the Kansas University Law Society and Past Chairman of its Board of Governors.

*Past President, Kansas Day Club and Past President, Native Sons and Daughters of Kansas.

*Member, Lawrence Rotary Club.

*President, Board of Governors of the Kansas University School of Religion.

*Member of the Board of Directors, Kansas Center for Research, Inc.

*First recipient of Higher Education Leadership Prize, awarded by all students in all State Universities in 1973.

*Recipient of various statewide awards from the Kansas 4-H Foundation, and a recipient of the Pawnee County Friends of 4-H Citation .

*Recipient of the Kansas Regents Leadership Award, Kansas Bar Association Award, K.U. School of Law Distinguished Service Award, the Kansas University Distinguished Service Citation (1984)

*the Fred Ellsworth Medallion of K.U.A.A. in 1989. In 2005, he was awarded the James Woods Green Medallion, an honorary award from the University of Kansas Law School.

*Service as a member of the Board of Governors of the Kansas Bar Association and Board of Directors of Kansas Association of Defense Counsel.

*Board of Directors and member of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

*Served for 12 years as Trustee of Sterling College.

*Fellow of the Kansas Bar Foundation.

He also served as President of the Southwest Kansas Bar Association and as a Chairman of the First Congressional District Republicans.

He was a longtime member of the Board of Kanza Council of the Boy Scouts, and was a recipient of the Silver Beaver Award.

He served as Pawnee County Attorney, and President of the Kansas County Attorney’s Association.

Past District Commander of the American Legion.

In his local community of Larned, Glee served in many ways as a community leader, including:

Member of the First Presbyterian Church, ordained Elder, former Trustee and Sunday School teacher.

Twelve year member and past President of the Larned Board of Education.

One of the organizers of the Fort Larned Historical Society in 1957, and a member of its Board of Trustees since its inception.

Board of Directors, Larned Chamber of Commerce, for 9 years, including service as President. Recipient of the Chamber’s Outstanding Citizen Award in 1990.

Longtime member, past President and Past District Lieutenant Governor of Kiwanis Club.

Longtime member and past Master of Larned Masonic Lodge, Member of Chapter and Commandery in Larned, Eastern Star Lawrence, Consistory and Shrine in Wichita, with all memberships transferred to Lawrence in 1996.

He was Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Jordaan Foundation and President of Jordaan Foundation, Inc. He was creator and longtime director, of the Larned Community Development Corporation. Glee was a member of the Board of Directors of the Lawrence Arts Center.

In addition to the foregoing positions of responsibility, Glee served in a number of professional and honorary fraternal organizations and Board of Directors of business organizations, such as banks and insurance companies. These included the First State Bank and Trust Company of Larned, the Lawrence National Bank in Lawrence, The First National Bank of Lawrence, the Mercantile Bank of Lawrence, the Manhattan Mutual Life Insurance Company in Manhattan, the State Mutual Insurance Company of Rome, Georgia and Life of Kansas in Wichita.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Glee S. and Geraldine B. Smith Law School Scholarship, in care of the K.U. Endowment Association, P. O. Box 928, Lawrence, KS. 66044, or to the charity of your choice and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.

Graveside service with Military Honors will be held at 1:00 p.m. Thursday, November 19, 2015 at Larned Cemetery in Larned, Kansas. A memorial service to celebrate his life will be in Lawrence, Kansas at a future date.

9 Condolences

  1. robyn herzog on November 17, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    Soo sorry hear bout glee always has a smile
    He and his wife made my day when I see them together
    I’ll miss his humer god bless robyn herzog

  2. Phyllis Foster on November 18, 2015 at 10:11 am

    My thoughts and prayers are with the family. Glee was a great guy. Sincerely, Phyllis Foster

  3. Bob in Overland Park, Kansas on November 18, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    I am grateful for the life of First Lieutenant (Ret.) Smith. Thanks to his service and to the service of others in our armed forces, my family and I have been able to lead our lives in freedom and peace.

  4. Patti McCormick on November 19, 2015 at 9:34 am

    For all the tremendous accolades that were mentioned in Mr. Smith’s life, one was not written. Mr. Smith was one of the kindest people I ever met. Always truly interested in anyone he met. I was so lucky to have him cross into my life. My thoughts and prayers to Mrs. Smith and his family. Patti McCormick

  5. Robbi Hewson Grogan on November 22, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    I was certainly saddened to learn of Glee’s passing. He was an honorable and generous man and both my grandparents’ and parents’ lawyer until he moved to Lawrence. I have so many memories of our families participating in church, scouting, and school activities in my Larned years. Glee and his family were a blessing to our Hewson family tree. Thinking of your entire family. Robbi (Roberta) Hewson Grogan

  6. Gerry and Marcia McPhail on November 22, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    We were sorry to learn that Glee had passed away. What a great person he was–loved and served his country, his state, his community, and his family, always placing God in the center. Our lives date way back to LARNED. We attended the same church so attended many family centered functions. Sid and I played clarinet together in high school. Steve and Susan, you were younger (Sid was too but only by a couple of years) but I knew who you were. Next came graduation where Glee was the guy who handed us our diplomas. That was pretty special to me since I knew him personally and became even more special when our lives crossed once again. This time we see the Smiths at church in Lawrence, not Larned. Funny how life works. Although most of the time here, we went to early service, it was always nice to chat with Glee (and Gerri) at the later service. Friendships from the past are simply the best. Thinking of all of you during your time of sorrow. Dwell on all the good memories you have of your wonderful husband, father, loved one. God Bless You.

  7. Steven W Lewis on November 23, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    Glee was also the first chair of the Jordaan Memorial College Scholarship Committee in Pawnee County and helped me get one of the first Jordaan Scholarships to attend KU. Certainly he had a long and productive life. My thoughts are with the family, especially my classmate in Larned and Lawrence, Susan.

  8. Tom Bolt on December 5, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    Jeni and I were saddened to learn of Glee’s passing. Over the past quarter century, we have come to know Glee and Gerri through both the American Bar Association and the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. Glee was always upbeat and served as a mentor to me. As Chair of the ABA Law Practice Division, I bear personal testimony that Glee Smith was a terrific lawyer and leader within the profession. He will forever serve as example for us to follow and emulate as a servant leader. Glee we love you!

  9. Harry Simpson on January 7, 2019 at 1:42 pm

    Rest Glee, until you hear at dawn,
    the low, clear reveille of God.

    Thank you for your service to this nation.

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