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Leon Smith

Thursday, November 5, 2020
Leon Smith

W. Leon Smith, 67, of Clifton, died Oct. 27, 2020, at his home after a lengthy illness.

A small family memorial service will be held at an undetermined future date. Clifton Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Mr. Smith was born May 29, 1953, in Gatesville.

Leon lived in Hamilton on two occasions and attended Ann Whitney Elementary in the 1960s. He founded the Evant News and Four County Sentinel in 1976, which he published for two years before selling to pursue other business interests.

A 1971 graduate of Clifton High School, Leon was co-owner and publisher of The Clifton Record from 1979 until 2009. During his lifetime he also published newspapers in Dublin, Stephenville, Whitney, Crawford and Valley Mills. He was a Clifton City Council member from 1982 to 1983 and served as Mayor of Clifton for two terms from 2001 to 2006. He also owned the CLIFTEX Theatre in Clifton 2000-08. He served two terms as president of the Clifton Chamber of Commerce, was a charter board member of the City of Clifton Economic Development Corporation and was instrumental in the formation of the Bosque Animal Rescue Kennels.

Following the sale of The Clifton Record, Leon authored and published several books, both fiction and non-fiction. One of these books, a novelette entitled “The Switch Pitcher,” was inspired by his time playing youth league baseball for the Hamilton Herald-News Newshounds team.

He spent considerable time growing up visiting his grandparents, Charlie and Alicia Lovell and Jim and Gladys Smith, in Evant. Another of his books, “Epitaph” was set in a fictional place that closely resembles the Evant/Bee House area.

Leon is preceded in death by his parents, James W. and Juanita Lovell Smith.

He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Carole; his children, Billy Martin of Glen Rose, Melanie Harvey and husband Michael of Deer Park, Allison Smith of Austin and Caitlin Smith of New Orleans; and granddaughters Molly Milbradt, Elizabeth Harvey and Emily Harvey; his sister, Lazane Smith and husband Ron McIntire of Granbury; and his brother, Lyndell Smith and wife Tammy, also of Granbury.