Wayne Cason Smith joined his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on October 8, 2020. Wayne’s life demonstrated strong commitment to Christ and significant impact on his family, his church, and his community.
Wayne was born to William Wayne (“Cooter”) and Geraldine Smith on July 17, 1934 in Ackerly, Texas. He graduated from Lamesa High School in 1952 then went to Texas A&M University. Wayne transferred to Baylor University in the spring of 1953 and graduated in 1956.
He served in the U.S. Army for 2 years, including a brief stint in Germany before starting his career as a 5th grade teacher for Union ISD in 1959.
On May 20, 1960, Wayne married Connie Lee Nolen, and they served together as active members of First Baptist Church. Wayne became the 8th grade English teacher for Lamesa Middle School in 1961. Their first daughter, Kimberly Diane, was born on September 20, 1963. 1967 was a banner year, as Wayne received his Master’s degree from Texas Tech University and was ordained as a Deacon at First Baptist Church. That year, he also began teaching evening classes at the Howard College Lamesa Campus—something he did for the next 23 years.
Wayne and Connie’s second daughter, Jennifer Leigh, was born on February 12, 1968. That year, Wayne began teaching English at Lamesa High School—a position he held for the next 10 years. From 1979-1990, he moved into administration, serving as Lamesa’s South Elementary Principal. In May 1990, he earned his Doctorate in Education—becoming Dr. Wayne Smith—and became Lamesa ISD’s Director of Federal Programs. From 1994 until his retirement in June 2004, Wayne served as Executive Vice President of the Lamesa Area Chamber of Commerce.
Wayne has actively served Lamesa, Dawson County, and this community through a number of volunteer roles, including:Assistant on Staff at First Baptist Church; Rotary Club Member and Past President (1990); Board Member for Lamesa Housing Incorporated; Treasurer for the Lamesa Dawson County Museum Board of Directors; Chairman of the Dawson County Historical Committee; Board Member of Dawson County Library; Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Director for Dawson County; Board Member for Dawson County Agricultural Committee; Dawson County’s Emergency Planning Coordinator; Member of Lubbock Economic Council; Board Member of Caprock Federal Credit Union; Representative to Texas American Cancer Society; and Member of Masonic Milam Lodge #11. He was the 2019 Chamber of Commerce “Man of the Year”.
Throughout his entire life, Wayne held an unwavering faith in God, which he shared with those he encountered.
Wayne joins his parents (W.W. and Geraldine), daughter (Kim), sisters, (Alice Howard and Martha Belew and husband, William), and nephew (Garry Miller) in Heaven.
He is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Connie, daughter and son-in-law Jennifer and Brady Pyle of Houston, and three grandchildren: Katy (Dallas Baptist University), Cody (High School Senior), and Tanner Wayne (8th Grade). He is also survived by his brother and sister-in-law, Bob and Linda Smith of Lamesa, and numerous nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Wayne Smith’s name can be made to First Baptist Church, 801 South 1st St, Lamesa, TX 79331 or the charity of your choice.
A private graveside service was held and officiated by Jim Medley and a memorial service will be held Thursday, October 22, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. at First Baptist Church.
Arrangements are under the direction of Branon Funeral Home. To send condolences online, please visit www.branonfuneralhome.com.