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Welcome to the memorial page for

Darrell Smith

August 9, 2017


Norman “Darrell” Smith, age 66, of Ellis, passed away following cardiac complications at Hays Medical Center on August 9, 2017. Darrell was born in Hays on April 4, 1951, to Norman and Teddy (Wyatt) Smith. He graduated from Ellis High School and attended Washburn University where he played for the basketball team. Darrell settled in Ellis, married Linda Vanaken, and together they raised five children.

He worked in construction for twenty years, and then worked in plumbing until retirement. Darrell enjoyed being a part of the Ellis community. He played basketball for the Ellis city recreational team for many years, and was a strong advocate for youth sports. Darrell was fond of music and had a wonderful singing voice. He liked to tinker with antique cameras, take photographs, and videotape family events. He always made time for family and friends, and regularly offered a helping hand to those in need. Darrell’s children, and especially his grandchildren, were the light of his life.

Darrell is lovingly remembered and survived by his children, daughter Jenna Sander and husband Darrell, and grandchildren Cooper, Ezra, and Russell, of Gilbert, Arizona; daughter Maren Smith of San Antonio, Texas; son-in-law Don Gilbert and grandchildren Rachel and Hailey of Garnett, Kansas; son Andrew Smith and wife Erin, and grandchildren Paige, Eli, Aiden, and Christopher, of Ottawa, Kansas; son Lee Smith of Dodge City, Kansas; brothers David Smith and Ken Smith; sister Debra Vigil; and his former wife and friend Linda (Vanaken) Smith and her partner Brett Weaver.

Darrell was preceded in death by his daughter Adell K. Gilbert, his oldest brother George Smith, his oldest sister Sondra Donnel, and his parents Norman and Teddy Smith.

A celebration of life will be held Saturday August 19th at 10:30am at Brock’s-Keithley Funeral Chapel and Crematory at 2509 Vine Street, Hays, KS 67601. Inurnment will be in Ft. Hays Memorial Gardens Cemetery. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Ellis Recreation Commission, care of Brock’s-Keithley Funeral Chapel. 

Condolences may be left by guest book at or emailed to

 Service Information

Celebration of Life
August 19, 2017

10:30 AM
Brock's North Hill Chapel
2509 Vine Street
Hays, Kansas 67601

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