Cover photo for Ernest Lester Smith's Obituary
Ernest Lester Smith Profile Photo
1939 Ernest 2023

Ernest Lester Smith

April 27, 1939 — December 24, 2023

Kansas City


On Wednesday, December 24, 2023, Ernest Lester Smith was called home to be with the Lord at the age of 84.

Ernest “Ernie” was born at home in St. Joseph, Missouri to Harland Aubrey Smith and Lou Ellen Jewel Thompson Smith on April 27, 1939.

Ernest was baptized at the Rushville Christian Church and attended elementary school in Atchison, Kansas and Rushville, Missouri. His high school years were spent at Atchison High School. There he found his long-term passion – art design and sculpture with Walter Yost, instructor. Ernie attended Kansas City Art Institute on a scholarship; he graduated with a degree in design and sculpture in 1961.

Ernest met Mary Ann Haldorsen early (in the third grade). They were sweethearts from high school and forever! Ernest and Mary Ann were married August 27, 1960, in Bethel Lutheran Church, Bethel, Kansas. They were blessed with a daughter, Colette Ann Smith in 1966.

Waiting for a draft assignment, Ernie worked for Hinde and Dauch, a paper converter, as a designer. He served as a Military Policeman in the Army from 1962 to 1964. After the military, he worked for Sealright Co. Inc. (Huhtamaki, De Soto, Kansas) from 1964 to 2004. He was manager of Product Design and Development. During this time, he was granted numerous federal patents for his designs in the field.

Ernie was an active member of the Lutheran Church – MO Synod at Holy Cross and King of Kings. He served as a member of the Board of Education, an Elder and President of the congregation at Holy Cross. While at Holy Cross, he gold-leafed the large cross in the sanctuary. He served as an Elder and chairman of Elders at King of Kings for several years. He was on the Homeowner’s Board and delivered Meals on Wheels. He used his artistic talents, designing a number of banners for LWML. When Mary served LWML as chairman of conventions, he was always willing to help.

Those left behind to mourn his passing are his beloved wife of 63 years, Mary Ann; daughter, Colette Ann (Bruce Rankin) Chapin of Mission Hills, Kansas; grandson, Bradley Alexander Chapin of Lawrence, Kansas; two sisters, Ella Lee Roach (Michael) of Warsaw, Missouri and LaVon Berger (Ed) of Escondido, California.

Services will be held at King of King Lutheran Church, with visitation on Friday, December 29 from 4-6pm. The funeral service will be on Saturday, December 30 at 10:30am, with burial and military honors following at Terrace Park Cemetery.

Memorial contributions are suggested to King of Kings Lutheran Church and Parkinson’s Research Foundation, 5969 Cattleridge Blvd., Suite 100 Sarasota, FL 34232.


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