W. Leon Smith, 67, of Clifton, Texas, died October 27, 2020, at his home after a lengthy illness. He was born May 29, 1953, in Gatesville, Texas.
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, Valley Mills, and Evant, Texas. 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 from 2000 to 2008. 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 (BARK).
Following the sale of The Clifton Record, Leon authored and published several books, both fiction and non-fiction. He also founded two companies, River Bend Landscaping and Keyhole Farms LLC. The latter developed and made keyhole garden kits that have shipped to most states in this country and some abroad. Although very busy with his business and civic obligations he always made time for his daughters who he coached in softball when they were children. He was an avid board game and card player and took great joy in teaching these games to his three granddaughters.
Leon was preceded in death by his parents, James W. and Juanita Lovell Smith. He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Carole, as well as his children, Billy Martin of Glen Rose, Melanie Harvey and husband, Michael of Deer Park, Allison Smith of Austin, Caitlin Smith of New Orleans, and granddaughters, Molly Milbradt, Elizabeth Harvey, and Emily Harvey. He is also survived by his sister, Lazane Smith and husband, Ron McIntire of Granbury and his brother, Lyndell Smith and wife, Tammy also of Granbury.
A small family memorial service will be held at an undetermined future date. Clifton Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to BARK (Bosque Animal Rescue Kennels) at PO Box 264, Clifton, TX 76634.
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