American Veteran 04

Lafe Z Smith

February 5, 1945 ~ July 7, 2019 (age 74)

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Lafe Z Smith passed away on July 5th 2019, he was 74.

Lafe was born February 5, 1945 in Chicago, Illinois to Bill and Adele Smith. He graduated from South High School in Denver Colorado where he was a member of the wrestling team. He attended Northeastern Junior College in Sterling Colorado and Colorado State University in Fort Collins Colorado. While attending Colorado State University he met his wife Peggy Callahan. They were married on March 23, 1968 in Alturas California.

When his draft number was called, he volunteered for the Army.  After basic training Lafe was selected for Officer Candidate School, upon completion he was commissioned into the United States Army as a 2nd Lieutenant. He then served in many positions including Platoon Leader, 1st Air Delta, 1st Battalion 12th Calvary, Vietnam.  During which time he was awarded 2 Bronze Stars for Valor, a Bronze Star Meritorious Service, and a Purple Heart.  He also served in the reserves before discharging with the rank of Captain.

Lafe and Peggy lived in Colorado where he owned a linen company before moving to Klamath Falls, in 1976 and taking over his uncles’ linen company, Pacific Linen Supply. He owned and operated Pacific Linen for 32 years. However, work was not Lafe’s passion. After settling on a small 80-acre sheep ranch with his wife and four children, Adele, Kathy, Raymon, and Kendra, Lafe started coaching wrestling and was active in the wrestling community from 1983 until his death.

Lafe’s life was dedicated to helping children grow and making sure that there were ample opportunities for the youth in Klamath County. Lafe was on the Klamath County School Budget Committee, 15 years, The Bonanza FFA Advisory Committee, 29 years, and a 4-H leader in the Twin Valley community club for 44 years. Through these organizations Lafe found a way to support our community and encourage the growth of the children around him.

In honor of Lafe’s memory, the family has asked that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the Lafe Z Smith Memorial Scholarship fund in an effort to continue Lafe’s dedication to the youth of his community at

A memorial service & BBQ will be held at Big Springs Park in Bonanza Saturday July 20th at 1pm.

To send flowers to Lafe's family, please visit our floral section.


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