Marshall Smith

Edwardsville |

Marshall H. “Zeke” Smith was born on August 8, 1921 and passed peacefully at his home in Edwardsville, Illinois on November 18, 2010. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Virginia and three sons, Mark, Eric and Wyatt Smith; five grandchildren, Erica Gomez, Ryan Smith, Nona Lynn Smith, Mark Blunt and Kimberly Cheek and six great grandchildren.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Marshall and Estel Smith, and two sisters, Odessa Nelson and Margaret Barley.

Zeke worked at Western Cartridge Company and attended Shurtleff College, prior to the war.  He enlisted the day after Pearl Harbor was attacked and served his country in the infantry in North Africa and the Middle East for thirty-four months.  He was discharged as a Staff Sergeant in November 1945.  He remained in the Ready Reserve as a First Sergeant until June, 1954.  He was a lifetime member of the VFW and American Legion.

Upon Graduating from Washington University Law School in 1949, he opened a law practice in Wood River and had a general and trial practice which handled substantial workman’s compensation cases.  His lifetime in the law business was spent in the East Alton-Wood River area. He also represented the Village of East Alton, the City of Wood River, the St. Louis Regional Airport, and the Wood River Levy District for approximately 20 years.  Zeke also served as an Assistant State’s Attorney for eight years.

Zeke’s interests were many and varied and, he will always be remembered for his love of telling “war stories” and his “famous” cigar.  He enjoyed duck hunting, sailing, traveling the back roads of America, Dixieland music, spending time farming and cattle raising in the Prairietown area, and his everlasting fondness for his dog, Bunky.  One of Zeke’s greatest pleasures was driving friends around the farm in Prairietown. He will also be remembered for the many fall festivities at the farm.

Upon retirement, he spent much time reading, manicuring his lawn, raising flowers, and welcoming visitors into their home.  He will be best remembered, not only for his knowledge of Workman’s Comp, but for his willingness to help any friend in need.  Zeke enjoyed people of all walks of life and his desire to always be of assistance will not soon be forgotten.  No one who requested his help was ever denied. 

Per Zeke’s request, his remains were donated to the Washington University School of Medicine.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be sent to Southern Illinois Hospice, 305 South Illinois Street, Belleville, IL 62220-2159.

Friends may call at a celebration of Zeke’s life on Sunday, November 21 from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm at the American Legion Post #214, 109 South Prairie Street, Bethalto, Illinois.

Online condolences and guestbook may be found at

Elias, Kallal and Schaaf Funeral Home in Bethalto is in charge of arrangements. 

Obit Provided By:
Elias, Kallal & Schaaf Funeral Home

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