Wells Funeral Home
Family Owned Since 1952
March 25, 1949 - September 06, 2023
Obituary For LEO SMITH
Saturday, September 16, 2023
Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church
Rev. R. M. Castle, Pastor
Visitation prior to service
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Leo Smith was born March 25, 1949, in Wichita Falls, Texas to Cleo Smith, Sr. and Roxie Connor Smith, as the fifth of seven children.
At an early age, Leo accepted Christ and joined St. John Baptist Church in Wichita Falls. He attended Booker T. Washington from elementary through high school. After graduation in 1967, he attended Prairie View A&M University and obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Library Science & Education in 1971. He married the love of his life, Gwendolyn Teresa Rentz, on his birthday March 25, 1972. To this beautiful union, they were blessed with three children: LeGwenda, Dano, and Shayla.
In 1973, Leo was hired by Bristol-Myers as the first African American Pharmaceutical Sales Rep in Wichita Falls. His love of helping people led him to additional career paths of probation officer, United Way, Helen Farabee MHMR Center, Advocacy Inc., and an Educator for the Wichita Falls Independent School District.
At the age of 25, Leo accepted his calling to the ministry at Greater Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He continued serving the Lord as Associate Minister and Youth Minister at St. John Baptist Church and later at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church. He served as interim Pastor at Church of the Living God PG&T for nine months. He touched the lives of people everywhere he went by sharing the word of God at every opportunity. He especially loved ministering and helping young people. He coordinated and chaperoned chartered buses full of youth from the Wichita Falls community to Kids Across America Christian Camp in Branson, Missouri for six years. Rev. Smith was a faithful servant of the Lord and through all his ministry work, he was able to lead many youth to Christ.
Rev. Smith was a proud Booker T. Washington Leopard and served as President of the Class of 1967 BTW Alumni Chapter for many years. He also had a huge love for his alma mater Prairie View A&M University. He founded and presided over the Wichita Falls PV Alumni Chapter for many years. His passion for exposing youth to higher education and HBCUs led him to sponsoring and taking youth to annual chartered trips to Prairie View’s homecoming. He did this for eight years and it resulted in more than 20 youth in Wichita Falls attending his alma mater. Last year at homecoming, he had the esteemed honor to be recognized as a 50-year PV Alumnus and earned his gold blazer. He treasured this day of tribute by being recognized and respected all throughout the University.
Rev. Smith was a highly respected, strong pillar in the community and known for his selflessness, kind spirit, generosity, and willingness to help anyone in need. He never met a stranger. He loved his family dearly and cherished every moment he spent with his wife, children, and grandchildren. He had a special bond with each of his nieces, nephews, and Godchildren. He was revered as a father-figure to many. He treasured each of his siblings and they described him as the “Rock” of their family. He loved and looked forward to attending family reunions and making special memories with his cousins and extended family. Family was everything to him.
Rev. Smith passed peacefully from this life and into the gates of Heaven, at the age of 74 on the morning of September 6 th , 2023, with his wife and oldest daughter by his side.
He was preceded in death by his parents Cleo Smith, Sr. and Roxie Connor Smith, his older brother Cleo Smith, Jr., and his niece Marquetta Hubbard.
Loved ones left to carry on his legacy and cherish his memory are his loving and devoted wife of 51 years Gwendolyn; his beloved children LeGwenda (Aundry) Potter, Dano Smith, Shayla (William) Green; grand- children Jalen Smith, Laila Green, Nylah Green, Christian Potter, and Tiaja Potter; sisters Ruby Lindsay, Tommie Reid, Margaret Jones, Earnestine Brooks, and Daisy (John) Ponius; nephews Herbert (Tasha) Reid, III, Michael (Stephanie) Jones, George Brooks, Jr.; nieces Yvoncil (Dwight) Jones, Tonya Harvey, Adriane Austin, Eplunus (Paul) Colvin, Traci (Antionne) Murray, and LaToya Ponius, and a host of great-nieces, great-nephews, Godchildren, family, and friends that loved him dearly.