First Responders 13

Joseph Edward Smith

January 17, 1950 ~ June 6, 2022 (age 72) 72 Years Old


Joseph Edward Smith, 72, died from complications related to ALS at Logan Health Kalispell on June 6, 2022. Joe was born to Richard Louis Smith & Marjorie Louise Smith (Cajune) on January 17, 1950 in Mission, Montana.
Joe knew the love of his life, Sue Darling, since 7th grade. They were married a year out of high school and would have celebrated 53 years together on August 20th. Together they had three sons; Ronn Joseph, Ryan Lee, and Cory Richard. Joe coached his boys in their sports as they grew up. Joe had a passion for sports. He supported the Columbia Falls Wildcat programs, Duke College basketball team, the Raiders, and San Francisco Giants.
Joe also enjoyed fishing, camping, deer hunting, watching bull riding, was a NASCAR fanatic and considered Jeff Gordon his boy. He enjoyed old school country music, loved to eat at his favorite restaurant in every town, enjoyed Sue’s pies and preferred homemade cookies slightly burnt. He also took great pride in his yard maintenance.
Joe retired from the Columbia Falls Aluminum Plant. In addition, the family ran All Seasons Sport and Cycle and Sunrise Bakery. He volunteered 35+ years for the Columbia Falls Fire Department and truly enjoyed his years there serving with his band of brothers on the department. Joe was a recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the State Fire Chief’s Association. He was the first firefighter in Columbia Falls to receive the award. He was also an Air Force Veteran. Joe attended Journey Church and had a strong faith. Joe was proud of his Chippewa heritage and was an enrolled member of White Earth Reservation.
The family will miss Joe’s quick wit and wonderful sense of humor.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents Richard L. Smith & Marjorie Smith; brother Johnny Smith, brother-in-law Virgil Hall, sister-in-law Connie Gamble and sister-in-law Donna Walton.
Joe is survived by his caring wife, Sue; their children Ronn Joseph (Deanna), Ryan Lee (Staci), Cory Richard (Qian); grandsons; Gavin, Meyer, Roman, Reiss, sister Nancy Jo Hall, sister Mary Louise Smith, and brother Richard Wyman Smith (Lorinda).
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Columbia Falls Fire Department.
Celebration of life for Joe will be held at 2:00 p.m. Sunday July 31, 2022 at Columbia Falls Fire Department, 624 1st Ave W, Columbia Falls, MT 59912. Family and friends may begin to visit on Sunday starting at 1:00 p.m. Inurnment will be held privately at the convenience of the family. To send online condolences, please visit

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