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Gregory Edmund Smith

December 29, 1947 — January 1, 2024

Pueblo, Colorado

Gregory Edmund Smith

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Gregory Edmund Smith, 76, passed away peacefully at his home in Pueblo, Colorado, on January 1, 2024.

Greg was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother, son, teacher, coach and friend. First and foremost a family man, nothing made Greg prouder than being a husband of 52 years to Doris, a father to his three children, a grandfather to nine, and a brother to 4. 

Born to Virginia and Ernest Smith in Greeley, Colorado on December 29, 1947, Greg was the proud big brother to 4 siblings. He spent his early years in Greeley, and later in Holly, Alamosa, Denver, and Lakewood.  He was always very intelligent, skipping kindergarten and graduating high school a year early. An accomplished athlete, Greg was often busy playing a game of some sort.  He played basketball and football in high school, leading Lakewood High School’s football team to two state championships as a defensive end. Though he was drafted to play pro football, he opted to continue his career on the gridiron first at Colorado School of Mines, and later at Southern Colorado State College (now Colorado State University-Pueblo) where he had the privilege of being coached by his father and playing with his brother. 

While a graduate student and football assistant at Brigham Young University, Greg was one of the last groups of men drafted during the Vietnam War.  He served in the Army from 1970-1972. 

Upon his discharge, he resumed his studies at the University of Northern Colorado, receiving his Master’s Degree in Education. 

While on leave, Greg met Doris Brown, the love of his life, in Pueblo.  After a short courtship, they eloped, holding true to Greg’s personal reflection that he was a true-lover, someone who always wore this heart on his sleeve.  In the summer of 1972, Greg accepted a teaching and football coach position at Pueblo East High School, where he remained for 20 years.  During his tenure, he taught several levels of math, coached football, first as a defensive coordinator and later as the head football coach, and was an assistant coach on the wrestling team.  Greg then moved to a math position at Centennial High School, where he taught for 10 years, retiring in 2002. His rapport with his students was unmatched. Greg led in the classroom and on the playing field always with his heart first, knowing that building relationships and helping others to succeed was paramount.Greg taught with humor, intelligence, and compassion, doing everything in his ability to help others succeed.  He created a warm, safe, welcoming environment where kids could truly be themselves. His guidance was not limited to mathematics, as he was able to talk (and play) the latest music, discuss pop culture, and participate in (or give) a dare or two, all in good fun.

There is no doubt Greg impacted many many lives throughout the years, as a friend, teacher, and coach. Greg was always happy to share a visit with a familiar face, and never forgot one.  While out and about, his children would run into their friends, and after exchanging pleasantries, the friend would invariably ask about Mr. Smith.  

An athlete to the core, Greg took up biking, conquering the 500 plus mile Ride the Rockies with his brothers multiple times, and riding his bike to his teaching job at Centennial High School.  He also played tennis with his children and siblings, competing in doubles with both his siblings as well as his middle child. 

Upon his retirement in 2002, Greg anticipated time enjoying his hobbies: reading, music, working out, and spending time with his wife.  However, his “grandpa duties” intervened. Greg’s oldest grandchildren Cole and Logan changed the trajectory of his retirement plans, as he was asked to babysit. Initially reluctant, later Greg always expressed how lucky he was to have this opportunity to spend time with the kids. Not only was he a grandpa, he also was a mentor and friend to his grandkids, and  embodied unconditional love. Greg enjoyed a special relationship with each of his grandkids. His eldest grandson Logan wrote a paper about his Grandpa being his hero in 5th grade and chose to move in with him after he graduated from high school to attend college. His grandson Cole shared a mutual love of football, playing the same position.Greg was adamant that Cole had the best equipment; he was a source of guidance and inspiration both on and off the field. Greg would roll pretend newspapers so granddaughter Addy could pretend to deliver them, and endured many dirt and grass salads at tea parties with Ella. Jack was the big jokester, always trading teasing jokes with his Grandpa. He enjoyed reading out of the big orange book, sharing fun facts, and sharing special music and movies.  Each grandchild had their own unique nickname given by their Grandpa, and all will carry special memories throughout their days. 

Greg and Doris enjoyed sitting on their back deck, drinking coffee and observing the birds and flowers.  They had many long walks and bike rides, the conversation always flowing, and laughter always key.  Bruce Springsteen was one of Greg’s favorite artists and many memories were made to his music- standing in a ticket line for hours,  going to concerts with his family and friends, dancing to his tunes, and even displaying photographs of the Boss in his house.

Greg was the smartest person we knew, with both a depth and breadth of knowledge and interests. He was passionate about learning and imparting his knowledge. He loved reading and music, and enjoyed sharing his passions with others. Greg truly had a soundtrack for his life, with an uncanny ability to find the perfect song that described every moment, feeling, and person in his life.

Greg was a fierce competitor.  He made most everything a competition or a game - from saving money at the grocery store by actively couponing, to competing with his daughters on how many steps he could get in a day.  He always wanted to push a bit further - adding just another hill to a bike ride or one more block to a walk.

Greg was a fighter, and dealt with a chronic genetic condition for years, always seeing each dawn as a new opportunity. Greg lived his life by meeting each challenge head-on, often quoting to his grandsons a portion of “The Ballad of Sir Andrew Barton” that was particularly meaningful during his playing and coaching days: Fight on my men…I am hurt but I am not slain.  I’ll lay me down and bleed-a-while, and then I’ll rise and fight again

After a serious health issue in 2002, Greg resolved to always tell people how he felt. He never wanted people to not know his true feelings or love.  Never did a day go by or a conversation end with his family without Greg saying “I love you.” If the truest measure of a man is how tall he stands in the eyes of his family, then Greg is, and forever will be, a giant. 

Greg is survived by his wife of 52 years, Doris, his daughters Erin (Kurt) Bloomer, Brett (Kevin) O’Dea, and son Lucas (Christen).  He also leaves nine special grandchildren: Logan, Cole, Ella, Stella, Adalyn, Ethan, Paloma, Jack, and Ezekiel, and four siblings, Robert Smith, Pamela Taylor, Wade Smith, and Winnifred Soester. 

In lieu of flowers or food, please consider a donation to curehht.org in Greg’s name.  #TeamSmith 

Online condolences at DavisMortuary.com

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