Phillip A. Smith Sr. was born April 14,1963 in San Manuel, AZ to Rita and Federico Smith. He passed away on March 5, 2021 in Mammoth, AZ.
This is how his family remembers him.
My dad lived for his kids and grandkids. Since we were little, he always kept us busy, taking us to our sports practices, games, teaching us how to drive up the Tucson Wash, and fishing at his favorite place Seneca Lake.
I think some of our greatest memories were our summer trips and small getaways to Disneyland, Kino, Cumpas and camping. He enjoyed hunting with Phillip and his grandkids, of course my dad would take food and snacks especially the grandkids’ favorites. His happy place was the great outdoors camping at the river or the lake with his tackle box, fishing pole, his chair, a beer and playing some Ramon Ayala music, just hanging out with his family and close friends.
One time Gaby, Gabriel and my dad were supposed to meet at Rigo’s by 4 a.m. It was a fishing trip to Seneca Lake they planned and my dad showed up 30-40 minutes late. When we got there, we were freezing. It was about 13 degrees. He acted like it wasn’t cold, and took Gabriel to push his Tonka truck around the lake. Gabriel was like 3 or 4 years old so he was loving it. When they got back Gaby put Gabriel in the Armada to warm up cause his hands were super red and cold, and my dad said, “Que Malebulos, son.”
When we were home, we knew not to say that we were bored because he always had some kind of chores we didn’t want to do. We learned not to say bad words in front of my dad because it was a mouth full of chiltepines.
We cannot forget his bright idea of him building us a pool in our backyard! You can imagine our excitement… But he said, “We have to knock down turtleneck.” Phillip was so excited he got the pick and shovel and began chipping away the mountain. Then he quickly realized how hard it was, (just like hitting a rock) so it didn’t happen.
My dad was a kid at heart, after long days at work, he still had the energy to come home to play and make us laugh. Our favorite was doggie piles, and swinging us up with his legs. My dad loved Taz but he talked like Donald Duck; we always tried to figure out how he did it. I don’t think any of us learned. My dad would just go along with the grandkids when they wanted to play and make jokes with him, like Daleyza using filters on him while video chatting with him.
Sorry, Dad, I have to mention the secret to your delicious menudo. It was discovered by Armando at Mayra’s 1st birthday party. He goes to serve himself a plate of menudo and out comes a sock full of onion, garlic and other spices.
As a grandpa he always had something to say when we would discipline our kids, he would always say let them get dirty and eat dirt.
We are going to miss your phone calls. Adriana will treasure those conversations on the porch when you visit her; Pelon, who is going to tell him to turn the page; Phillip, who is going to tell him about politics; and Gaby, no seas Malebulo y Vero la mommy dearest? The grandkids will miss your love and your smile.
My Dad was always willing to give anyone he knew a helping hand, and was known by many people for his big beautiful heart and love that he showed to us all.
I’m sure each and every one of you has a wonderful memory of my dad, his legacy will forever live in our hearts. We love you dad and know that you are now with your son Juan De Dios, your Father Federico and the entire family of Angels up in Heaven. That Rinconsito en el Cielo is yours now, and we know you will be watching over us.