Arvol Dale Smith, 81, who always introduced himself as Smitty, returned to his Heavenly Father on October 18th, 2023 surrounded by his loved ones. He was born November 5, 1941, to Arvol LaVere and Elsie Smith in Brigham City, Utah.
He was the oldest of four kids, raised in Brigham City, and they have remained close friends throughout their lives. Smitty took great pride in his childhood, spending it hunting, farming, and horseback riding. His father was his hero, and he spent his life striving to be as loving, caring, and strong as his father. From his mother he got his sense of humor.
Smitty valued education and loved learning, and was immensely proud to be the first member of his family to graduate from high school (Box Elder High School, ‘60) and college (Utah State University, ‘67). While attending Utah State University, he met the love of his life, Marilyn Felter. Smitty knew right away that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her, and they were engaged three months later. They married on June 18, 1965 in the Logan Temple and made their first home in Brigham City, where they lived for ten years and had their first four children. Having earned a Bachelor of Arts in History Education, Smitty started teaching at Roy High School. After commuting for eight years, the family finally moved to Hooper in 1975, where they had three more children and still live.
Smitty taught history and other subjects, along with coaching wrestling and football at Roy High School for 30 years; he lived golden and bled black, cheering for the Royals long after he retired. Education was Smitty’s great passion, he loved working with students and always went above and beyond to help them. As a principal of the night school, he made sure young mothers and other disadvantaged students had the same educational opportunities. While working with a summer CETA program, he met a troubled young man who needed a second chance, and this is when Hank Fetler joined the family as their foster son.
Smitty worked hard to ensure his family had every opportunity and had many different side jobs, from roofing and sprinklers to door-to-door sales and the IRS. His infectious laughter and caring demeanor touched everyone he encountered, whether at the Roxy Theatre in Brigham City, Willard Bay State Park, or the Ogden Depot.
When he wasn’t working, Smitty loved to tend to his vegetable garden, spending many a joyful hour with his rototiller, and sharing his harvest with family and friends. But as he would have told you, he was happy doing anything, as long as his precious wife was by his side. Together they had many adventures camping, hiking, and sightseeing.
He was a lifelong member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He served a two and-a-half year mission to Germany during the construction of the Berlin Wall. He never lost his love for all things German - language, food, people, culture, and food. He served the Church in many capacities through the years, including ward clerk, Sunday school teacher, young men’s leader, high priest leader, and, his favorite, the primary class he taught with his wife, Marilyn. He and Marilyn also served a mission for the Church at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.
Smitty’s kids, grandkids, and great grandkids were one of his great joys in life; he cherished any opportunity to spend time with them, and bragged about having spent a good portion of his retirement babysitting. As they got older, he always had time to cheer them on at their many sports and arts activities, even if it meant rooting against Roy High. He was immensely proud of the happiness and success of his family.
Smitty is remembered by many for his smile, and for loving to make others laugh and smile, whether they were family and friends or a perfect stranger. He always had a dad joke ready to share. He passed his love of pranks, which he got from his own mother, to his kids and grandkids; there's always a risk of shenanigans at any family gathering, thanks to him!
Arvol is survived by his beautiful wife of 58 years, Marilyn; his seven amazing children: Kimberlee Endicott (Gene), Darci Roche, Mindy Smith (Chris Sojourner), Kara Auseré (Dave), Arvol Lee Smith, Allen Dale Smith (Emilio Casillas), and Don Charles Smith; 18 grandchildren, nine great grandchildren; and his siblings: DeAnn Meadows (Carl), Ron Smith (Bev), and DeOrr Smith (GayLynn). Beyond his family, Smitty leaves behind countless students whose lives he touched, and whose success always brought him pride.
Arvol was preceded in death by his parents, his foster son Hank C. Fetler, his grandson Nathan Kimber Endicott, his great granddaughter Chloe Ann Endicott, and many extended family members.
Our family is grateful for the loving care provided by Dr. Butler, Dr. Stinnett, Dr. Cortez and their staff, as well as Ogden Regional Hospital.
There will be a viewing on Sunday, October 22 at Lindquist’s Roy Mortuary, 3333 W. 5600 S. from 6-8:00 pm. The celebration of life will be Monday, October 23 at the Fremont Ward Chapel, 4979 S. 5100 W. Hooper at 11 am, with a viewing at 9:45.
Interment, Portage Cemetery.
Smitty requested that everyone wear bright colors or Roy High Gear (no ties or hats) while we celebrate his life and legacy. Have your best dad joke ready to share.