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Raymond Oscar Smotherman, 76, of Birch Tree, Missouri departed this life on September 7, 2013 at his home. He was born on September 23, 1936 in Birch Tree, the son of Clarence E. and Ethel A. (Williams) Smotherman.

Visitation will be Tuesday, September 10 from 6-8 PM at Yarber Mortuary.

Memorial donations can be made to Hospice Compassus,1406 N Kentucky Ave West Plains, MO 65775 or Oxford Home Health, 813 W Broadway St, West Plains, MO 65775

R.O. was united in marriage to Wilma E. Brown on November 17, 1952 in Arkansas.

He was preceded in death by his parents; two sisters, Clara Williams and Velma Weaver; one infant daughter; and one great grandson.

Survivors include his wife of 60 years, Wilma, of the home; children, Debbie Markham and friend, Michael, of St. Louis, MO, Dan Smotherman and wife, Carol, of Lee Summit, MO and Diana Cattell and husband, Larry, of Mountain View, MO; one sister, Dorothy Martin of Winona, MO; one brother, Clyde Smotherman of Union, MO; eight grandchildren, John, Jamie, Justin, and Jessica Markham, Danielle and Kara Smotherman, and Amanda and Adam Cattell; five great grandchildren; three aunts, Gladys Kizer of Birch Tree, Jewell Smotherman of Warrenton, OR and Viola Sykes of Kent, WA; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

When he was young, R.O. cut wood with his sister, Clara, and husband, Elva Williams, to earn enough money to go to St. Louis to find jobs. There he worked at Bemis Bag Company and Ramsey Corporation, while dreaming of returning home. In 1965, he returned to Birch Tree and bought the Dairy Queen. While running the Dairy Queen, he drove a school bus for the Birch Tree school district. After a year, he realized that this wasn’t really what he wanted to do so he bought a backhoe, even though he didn’t know how to operate it. He soon learned and continued to do what he enjoyed until May of this year.

R.O. was well known and respected in his community. He helped to establish the baseball field in Birch Tree.

R.O. loved to hunt, to fish, and to tell fishing stories. He was an avid Cardinal fan. He held a pilot’s license. He also enjoyed bowling, as he and Wilma had traveled to many bowling tournaments.

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