1942 – 2021
Funeral Services for Kenney A. Smith, 78, of Denver City will be held at 10:00 A.M. Thursday, September 23, 2021 in the First Baptist Church with Rev. Kyle Streun officiating, Interment will follow in the Denver City Memorial Park under the direction of Ratliff Funeral Home of Denver City.
Kenney A Smith was born in 1942 in Bell, California to Wiley and Ruby Smith. Eventually the family settled in Eunice, N.M. where Kenney graduated from Eunice High School in 1960. Being a standout athlete, he was awarded a scholarship to Sul Ross State University in both baseball and basketball. After a brief stint in baseball, Kenney concentrated on basketball and excelled for 4 years. While at Alpine, he met the love of his life, Wanda Phillips and the couple were married on September 7, 1963. In 1964, while Kenney was working on his master’s degree, the couple had their first child Rohn. After Kenney graduated from Sul Ross with a degree in Biology, he and Wanda moved to Carlsbad, N.M. where he took a teaching and coaching job with the Carlsbad ISD. After spending one year in Carlsbad, they moved to Denver City in 1965, where Kenney took a job teaching and coaching under the legendary Don Orr. The couple had their second child, Chad, in the summer of 1966 and they remained in Denver City, until Kenney’s passing.
Kenney had a long and successful career with the Denver City Independent School District. After moving there in 1965, he taught Biology at the high school and coached multiple sports. Eventually, he would end up coaching varsity boys’ basketball and freshman football. It is through coaching that Mr. Smith found his true joy. He treated all of his players the same and expected every one of them to give the best they had. He loved those he taught and coached. He was certainly hard on his players, but they knew he had their best interest at heart and that he loved them unconditionally. In 1980, Kenney gave up coaching and teaching and took a job with DCISD as the high school assistant principal, where he remained until he retired after 37 years of service.
In January of 2003, Kenney was elected as Justice of the Peace for Precinct 2 in Yoakum County where he remained for 2 terms or 8 years. He retired from the county in 2010. Kenney was an avid sports fan and outdoorsman. He loved to hunt and fish and spent most of his time doing this with his best friends, Bucky Johnson and Kenneth Burkhalter, as well as his two sons and three grandsons. Kenney was also an outstanding golfer and remained a prominent figure at the Yoakum County Golf Course until his health started to fade.
Kenney A was a tremendous role model for the many lives he touched, and he is known best for his infectious smile and big hugs. He certainly will be truly missed.
Kenney went to be with his heavenly father on September 18, 2021. He is preceded in death by his son, Rohn Smith, Father Wiley Smith, Mother Ruby Smith and Brother Rance Smith. Kenney’s remaining family include his wife, Wanda Smith and son Chad Smith, as well as his grandsons Tyler, Logan (wife Alexa) and Michael Smith. As well, he is survived by his sister Jeannie Thomas of Leander, sister-in-law LaRhea McNeely of Gilbert, AZ, nephews Zane Smith (Wife Shannon) of Maryville, TN, Rhett Smith of Queens Creek, AZ, Shawn Thomas (wife Lisa) of Dripping Springs and Kevin Thomas of Austin.