March 6, 1935 - September 8, 2020
Janesville, WI -- Stewart Travis Smith, loving father and grandfather, peacefully passed away on Tuesday, September 8, 2020, at Oak Park Place in Janesville, WI at the age of 85. Travis was born March 6, 1935 in Duck Springs, AL, to Jeff Stewart and Addie May (Hall) Smith. He was a worker, a story teller, a lover of animals, automobiles, land and the Lord. Prior to his graduation from Etowah High School in 1953, he held a variety of jobs, ranging from the care of large farm animals to selling produce at local grocery stores. Having entered the work force early, transportation was required meaning an old car "an antique" was what was available. At 13 years old, he was driving to work, affording him many opportunities to hone his mechanical aptitude. A first job was working with the local Veterinarian (Dr. Partridge), where births and deaths were common occurrences. Financially animals sustained families, placing an even greater value on additions and losses. Travis's deep love of animals - especially dogs - started there. Agriculture enriched his life, serving as the material used to tell stories. Stories about people, places automobiles and love. Stories that were especially entertaining because of his ability to connect with others.
A favorite story told by Travis, was of his infatuation with a girl from Sand Mountain, AL. He took notice of her while she shopped at the A & P grocery store. The strawberries she bought; his marriage proposal she refused. A blind date brought them together again, which lead to more dates, further proof of his propensity to connect. In 1955 they married, and strawberries were served at their wedding reception! Following their union, they relocated to Gadsden, where he enlisted in the Army National Guard as a Medic, serving for six years; and working thirty years at "The Steel Plant" (Gulf State Steel formerly known as Republic Steel).
He is survived by his children, Micheal (Jennifer) Smith and daughter, Leaellyn "Lee" McCarthy; sisters: Avis (Smith) Burns of Huntsville, AL, Nelda (Smith) Alford of Hokes Bluff, AL, sister-in-law, Mary John (Tucker) Williams; brother, the late Larry Smith; grandchildren: Jessica, Cormac, Andrew, Bearach, Corinne and Bryg. He is preceded in death by his wife, Pattie, of 56 years.
Travis, a committed follower of Christ, worshipped and served the Lord at Twelfth Street Baptist Church in Gadsden, AL, where he enjoyed serving in the following positions: Training Union teacher, Chapel Choir Chaperon, Usher, Deacon, Church maintenance and security worker. Also, very near and dear to his heart was his love of "the country" Duck Springs, AL and antique cars. Travis, Pattie and children were members of the Gadsden Antique Automobile Club where friendships were made and treasured for several decades during car shows, parades and road trips.
Travis was a devoted follower of Christ, where he lived a life of stewardship leading others to the Lord by service, words of encouragement and a smile. Travis has left a legacy of love that will continue for generations! He will be fondly remembered here in Wisconsin for connecting with others with this consistent question, "Where have you been?!" When asked how he was doing, his response was a consistent reply of, "Better". Special thanks to his primary care provider Dr. Akbar, Mercy hospice staff and Oak Park Place care givers in particular Lori and Justin all of whom did make his life in Wisconsin "Better".
A graveside service will be conducted by the Reverend Craig Carlisle on Saturday, September 12, 2020, at Crestwood cemetery in Gadsden, AL. The family requests, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the building fund at Twelfth Street Baptist Church in Rainbow City, AL.