Nature 45

Sidney "Vance" Smith

September 26, 1937 ~ September 25, 2020 (age 82)


Sidney “Vance” Smith, 82, of Roseville, IL passed away Friday, September 25, 2020, 10:20 a.m. at his home.  He was born September 26, 1937, at his home in Ellison Township the son of Sidney M. and Esther (Neidy) Smith.  He married Betty Young on July 10, 1960.


He is survived by his wife of 60 years; daughters, Linda (Tom) Schafft of St. Charles, Sandra (Tom) Linsenmeyer of Greyslake, Barbara (Mark) Finch of LaHarpe and Trina (Mike) Barry of Monmouth; grandchildren, Derek, Brianna, Caleb, Daniel, Lisa, Kelli, Joe, Austin, Sydney; great great grandson, Elijah, great granddaughter on the way and several nieces and nephews.


He was preceded in death by his parents, 1 daughter (Brenda) and 4 sisters ( Eloise Lowderman, Erma Lewis, Gaila Parsons and Ima Jean Bycroft).

In celebrating the life of Van Smith there’s quite a bit more to be said than what can be found in the common obituary. Van had many loves and passions in life, a life that knew great happiness, great sadness, great times and great strife, but through it all Van’s life was a life well lived.

He met Betty, the love of his life in November of 1958 at a PTA square dance in Good Hope IL. From that day forward their life and love flourished producing 5 wonderful girls that were Van’s pride and joy.

In September of 1960 Van joined the Army National Guard where he served proudly until receiving his honorable discharge 6 years later in September of 1966. As Van would say, he went in as a “slick sleeve” but during his 6 years of service he advanced to an E-5 Sgt. and the Chief of the Firing Battery of an 8 Inch Howitzer. Both the rising in rank and being a Chief were accomplishments Van was most proud of, and rightly so while in the service of his country.

Van also farmed the same ground for the same family from the age of just 18 years old all the way to his 65th year, another accomplishment he was justly proud of, not many farmers can lay the same claim for that many years. And, he took great pride in the many gardens and orchards he produced all his life, most of them amazing in their own right, with some of his orchard trees still producing to this day. Van raised corn, beans, and many hogs in his lifelong adventure in farming, some years bountiful, some years not so much, but that’s the life of a farmer. Some are born to have clean hands all their life, Van was born with dirt under his nails and he kept it there.

Van was an outdoorsman, an avid hunter, and his own gunsmith all his life. He had a great love of firearms of every make and kind and loved working on them as much as he did shooting them. Tinkering and figuring out the workings of a firearm and taking one that wouldn’t shoot to making it go bang was one of his many joys. Van was also a lifelong member of the NRA.

The tinkering with guns also carried over to Van’s love of fixing lawn mowers and tractors, he was a shade tree mechanic in his spare time and he loved making that which wouldn’t runcome to life again. He had a knack known to few for fixing things and he was proud of his many accomplishments that rolled out of his shop, too many to count over his lifetime.

Van was a voracious reader of books and his knowledge was vast about many different subjects. Everything from Military History, Firearms, American History, Western History, Indian History, Tractors, Cars, Mowers, Trucksand many more. He was also an avid reader of the Bible all his life and as mentioned, his knowledge of all these subjects was vast, he was a well read man indeed.

Van and his many stories will be missed from his days in the guard, his days on the farm, and of his days of growing up where hard work was a way of life.

Van’s life was an accomplishment not measured in dollars but in the pride one only gets from having but one lifelong love, wonderful kids and wonderful grandkids, and those are the things than made Van a very rich man.

Graveside service will be Tuesday, September 29, 2020, 11:00 a.m., in  the Asbury Cemetery, Roseville, IL.  Visitation will be Monday, September 28, 2020, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at the Wise Family Funeral Home Roseville IL.  Due to the covid pandemic masks will be required.  Memorials may be made to the Roseville Fire Dept. and or Roseville Area Ambulance.  Please sign the online guestbook at Wise Family Funeral Home Roseville, IL is in charge of the arrangements.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Sidney "Vance" Smith, please visit our floral store.


September 28, 2020

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Wise Family Funeral Home
230 West Penn Avenue
Roseville, IL 61473

Graveside Service
September 29, 2020

11:00 AM
Asbury Cemetery, Roseville

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