Roger B. Smith, 96, longtime resident of Waterloo, IA, died Saturday, July 4, 2020 at Bigfork Valley Communities in Bigfork, MN. He was born February 8, 1924 to Carl and Nellie (Simmons) Smith in Waterloo, IA. After school, Roger proudly served his country during WWII in the U.S. Army. His introduction to combat on June 6, 1944 was making the landing at Omaha Beach. His infantryman’s duty was “forward seeking the enemy” in the hedgerows of France. One month after D Day while his unit was advancing on St. Lo he was severely wounded. He was medevaced to England where Waterloo Dr. Donald Bickley saved his arm from amputation. After two years in hospitals recovering from his battle wounds, for which he received a Purple Heart, Roger married the love of his life, Velma Cotton, on September 15, 1946.
Like so many veterans of the Greatest Generation he put the bad times behind him and began pursuing the Great American Dream. Velma gave birth to their daughter, Linda, on January 19, 1951. He made a career as a salesman for Lincoln Office Supply in Waterloo retiring in 1986. Roger loved fishing, bowling and playing cards with family and friends. Roger was a member of St. Paul’s Methodist Church, and a lifelong member of the DAV.
He is survived by his wife of 74 years, Velma Smith, Big Fork, MN, daughter, Linda (Bill) Waters, Burroughs Lake, MN, grandchildren, Sandy (Jonathan) Bredin, St. Paul, MN, and John (Bobbie) Salow, Omaha, NE, great-grandchildren, Kayleigh Salow, Rya Lundin and Ben Smith, along with many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, and three brothers, who also all served in WWII, Paul, Max, and Bruce Smith.
Per Roger’s request, there will be no services held at this time. Interment will be in Waterloo, IA, at a later date. Arrangements are with Peterson Funeral Chapel of Coleraine.
Condolences can be mailed to Velma Smith at 1009 Bigfork Valley Villa, Bigfork, MN 56628.
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