Cleo was born in Stanton, Nebraska to his parents, Fred and Dora (Woehler) Smith, he attended school and helped his dad on the farm or in town until he was 16. He then moved to Burke, South Dakota to work on a ranch and begin his life on his own. There he met Karen and they danced their way through life together. Cleo served with the United States Army for 6 years and was incredibly proud of his service and this country. The two of them moved around and finally landed in York, Nebraska where they would spend their lives together. Cleo drove trucks for many years and later grew tired of being on the road and knew it was time to stay home with Karen. He spent 20 years before retirement as a Corporal at NCCW. The two of them had a love that withstood everything. They were married for just shy of 66 years and still looked at each other with so much love every day.
Cleo and Karen were not able to have children but took our family in as their own kids. They loved with all their hearts and became family to us. Cleo is an example of what loving neighbors should be and our family was very blessed to be a part of this journey. He is survived by his neighbors, Brad, Kylee, Shianne, Riley, and Carlye Philipp.
Our prayer is that if you ever have the opportunity, meet your neighbors, take them cookies, and spend time together. You will never know if that could be your best friend. An 87 year old man and our family became family because God put that blessing together. The Bible says to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind. And love your neighbor as yourself.” Cleo did just that and if you knew him you were blessed by that.
May God grant you always…A sunbeam to warm you, a moonbeam to charm you, a sheltering Angel so nothing can harm you. Laughter to cheer you. Faithful friends near you and whenever you pray, Heaven to hear you.-Irish Blessing
A private family inurnment will be held at a later date. Cremation, no visitation, no viewing. Memorials may be directed to York General Hearthstone.