BENTON – U.S.A.F. Colonel Joe Samuel Smith, 85, of Benton, LA, died in the loving presence of his wife and children on November 18, after a long and happy life. Joe Sam was born August 19, 1928 in Rayville, Louisiana. He is survived by Terri, his beloved wife of 60 years; his children, Robert Smith (Lisa), Tracie Porter, Karen Palazzo and Stephen Smith (Soozn), brothers Tucker Smith (DoraLee) and Joe (Sandy) Smith. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Kristin and Ryan Smith, Rachel, Drew and Colin Porter, Chris, Ryan and Steffany Palazzo, and Austin, Tiffany and Gracie Smith; loving nieces and nephews.
Joe Sam lived a full and enjoyable life in the U.S. Air Force flying B-47s, B-52s, F-100s, and flew 281 missions in O-2As as a forward air controller during the Vietnam War. After his 30-year career in the military, he worked for 17 more years at Louisiana Downs in the racing steward’s office. He was an avid outdoorsman enjoying fishing and hunting in the company of friends and family throughout his entire life.
A celebration of Joe Sam’s life will be held at 11am, Saturday, Nov 23, at Rose-Neath Funeral Home (Bossier). Please come dressed casually and comfortably to join the family in remembering the many happy days we shared together.
The family wishes to express their deepest gratitude to the physicians and medical staff at Willis Knighton Hospital (Bossier) and Promise Hospital (Bossier) for the loving care received during the past few weeks.