Russell Biddle Smith III
June 29, 1948 - June 29, 2017
Russell Biddle Smith III of Spring, Texas passed away in his sleep on June 29, 2017 at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center after suffering for many years from military service related illnesses. It was his 69th birthday.
Russell was born in Ajo, Arizona to Russell Biddle Smith Jr and Sarah Elmendorf Smith. Russell grew up in Yuma, Arizona, graduating from Yuma High School in 1966. While in high school, he participated in football, wrestling, choir, theater, Letterman’s club and French club. Russell was also a member of the Order of DeMolay. He enrolled in law school at the University of Utah in the summer of 1975 and finished courses in the fall of 1978, an accomplishment he recounted with great pride. He passed the bar and received his Juris Doctor in 1979.
Staff Sergeant E-6 Smith served in the United States Army from January 1967 - March 1975. His enlistment took him to Vietnam, Germany, and locations across the US. Duties included Military Policeman, Field Recruiter, and Instructor at the Noncommissioned Officer Academy at Ft. Carson, CO. He received numerous medals for his service, including the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal with Two Bronze Service Stars, and the Vietnam Campaign Medal with 60 Device.
He was preceded in death by his father, mother, sisters Priscilla and Betty, and his daughters Colleen and Kimberly. He is survived by his children Russell, Cheryl, Michelle, Kelly, and Aaron whom he shared with former spouse Debora, his step-children Michael, Ida, Linda, Jens Emil, and Maja whom he shared with former spouse Annette, his grandchildren Lance, Dylan, Trinton, Andrew, Joshua, Rory, Simeon, Spencer, Devlin, Levi, Capri, Michael, Serenna, Isabelle, Tyler, and Ryan, his great-grandchildren Blythe and Cecily, and his nieces and nephews, Keith, Susan, Barbara, Kathy, Craig, and Patti.
He gave his granddaughter, Rory, the following advice: “Have variety in education and in boyfriends. Live life in the way that is best for you. Education should be number one because knowledge is power. Make your choices reflect your morals. Morals save you from yourself.”
Military Honors will take place at the Houston National Cemetery 10410 Veterans Memorial Dr, Houston, TX 77038 at 10:15am on Tuesday, July 11, 2017.