March 31, 1928 - May 11, 2020
Brant Smith passed away Monday, May 11, 2020. A private family burial will be Friday, May 15, at Oakwood Cemetery. Visitation, practicing social distancing, will be 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., Thursday, May 14, at Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey.
Brant was born March 31, 1928, in Port Arthur, Texas, to Brant L. Smith, Sr., and Annie Mae Smith. He graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in Port Arthur in 1946. While in high school, he lettered in football for the Port Arthur Yellow Jackets. He was elected president of the student council association and was selected to play in the South Texas-Louisiana All Star Game in 1945. Brant was the King of the Senior Ball! On graduation day, he was given the Monticello Guardian Award, the highest service award given to a graduating senior. Brant served in the Marine Corps after high school, stationed in San Diego.
Brant attended Lamar Junior College in Beaumont, Texas, for two years, where he played football and was president of his senior class. During his second year at Lamar, he was one of four students to appear before the Texas Legislature, asking for Lamar to become a four year college. Several years later it was! Brant continued to Baylor University and received a BA degree in Political Science and History, and an MA degree in History and Education. While at Baylor, he and his mother ran a successful boarding house. He also met his future wife of 66 years, Donna Lu Westmoreland. Upon graduation, he taught school for Waco Independent School District for 14 years. After teaching, he worked in the insurance business. Brant was a RABID Lady Bears fan!
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Donna Lu; son, Brant L. Smith III; and two sisters, Jenny Cage and Mildred Bell.
He is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Celia and Thomas Ridley; granddaughters, Christin Shilling and husband, Derek, Kimberly Menge and husband, Clark, Lauren Shoffner and husband, Jason, and Sarah Ridley and Brett Barr; grandson, Justin Price; great-grandchildren, Sullivan, William, Parker Brant, Ridley Kate and Cooper; sister and brother-in-law, Cecile and D.T. Leggott; cousins, Ann and Stacy Cooke and Jenny and Ronny Potts; and nieces and nephews.
We would like to thank the wonderful people at Brookdale on the Brazos for providing such a wonderful home for Brant and Donna for close to six years.
Memorials may be made to Providence Hospice or Columbus Avenue Baptist Church.
The family invites you to leave a message or memory on our "Tribute Wall" at www.WHBfamily.com