Cover photo for The Honorable Tom R. Smith's Obituary
The Honorable Tom R. Smith Profile Photo

The Honorable Tom R. Smith

April 9, 1943 — December 10, 2023

The Honorable Tom R. Smith


The Honorable Tom R. Smith, 80, of Hugoton, KS died Sunday December 10, 2023 at Southwest Medical Center in Liberal, KS.  
He was born on April 9, 1943 to Karl and Ida (Werner) Smith in Greenleaf, Kansas.

In June 1963 he married Barbara E. Jenkins at the Methodist Church in Colby, KS. They resided in Topeka, KS until he completed law school and moved to Liberal in May 1970.  They later divorced yet remained close friends.

He grew up in Hutchinson Kansas and graduated from Hutchinson High School, class of 1961.

Judge Smith graduated from Washburn University undergraduate program in June 1966 and Washburn University Law School in May 1970.

He was the Assistant County Attorney for Seward County from 1970-1973 and then County Attorney for Seward 1973-1976.  He left the position to pursue a full-time private practice. He was County Counselor from 1970-1976 and again 1981-1993. He served nearly 15 years as the Prosecutor for the City of Liberal. During his years in service of Seward County and City of Liberal, he was most proud of creating the court trustee program in the early 1990's to enforce payment of child support from delinquent parents. Judge Smith was appointed to the 26th Judicial District Court, January 29, 1993 and held that position until his retirement in October 2009.

Judge Smith served on the Stevens County Library Board from 2017-2023; President from 2020 - fall 2023. He was a past member of Seward-Haskell County Bar Association, Southwest Kansas Bar Association, Kansas Trial Lawyers Association, American Bar Association, Kansas County and District Attorney Association. 

He was a voracious reader, an amazing cook (if you liked it spicy), a terrible Rummy player (who never gave up), and a follower (blindly dedicated) of the San Francisco 49ers.  Judge Smith enjoyed reading the news, especially regarding politics, and sharing his many, many, many insights, whether you wanted them or not. He describes his best times as when he took long trips on his motorcycle, fly fishing in Colorado with friends, and past hunting with friends and family.
Judge Smith is survived by his two daughters, Leslie E. Smith and Brooke (Lance) Hinnergardt, both of Liberal, KS;  granddaughter, Michelle L. Hinnergardt, Denver CO, and Adam T. Hinnergardt, Liberal KS.  His most loved dog of all time, Baxter, also remains in the home.

 He was preceded in death by his parents, brother, Jake Smith, and three sisters, Darlene Kittle, Karole Francis, and Violet Lamb.  Also, step-brother, Oliver "Bud" Smith, step-sisters, Doyne Schott and Evelyn Dittbrenner.
There will be no viewing as cremation has taken place per Judge Smith's wishes.
A Memorial Service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 27, 2024 at Miller Mortuary Chapel in Liberal KS.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests Memorial Donations be made payable to Angels for Animals or the Liberal Humane Society in care of Miller Mortuary, PO Box 826, Liberal, KS 67901. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of The Honorable Tom R. Smith, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, January 27, 2024

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

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