Jerry Smith

Jerry Smith

Jerry Smith
November 26, 1927 – June 27, 2020
Hedrick, Iowa | Age 92

Jerry Smith, 92, died on June 27, 2020 at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City due to complications of a stroke. Jerry was born November 26, 1927 in Johnson County, Iowa to Charles and Abbie Smith (Webber).

Jerry was a motorcycle racer from the age of 18 to 72 years old and continued riding a motorcycle until his last days.

Jerry married Josefina “Josie” Smith, August 22, 1971 in New Orleans.

Soon after the couple married, they embarked on motorcycle adventures from Iowa thru Central America and across the Panama Canal, then again in 1972. During these expeditions, Jerry was put in a Nicaraguan jail, yet due to Josie’s bravery, they narrowly escaped before an earthquake all but demolished Managua. In Central America, they evaded thieves inside the Irazú Volcano, skillfully rode over metal beams in place of blown bridges, and were held at gunpoint in El Salvador until Josie convinced the gunmen they were of no threat. These were some of the motorcycle travels Jerry completed throughout 23 countries, to earn him one of the Highest Lifetime Mileage Awards on a motorcycle.

In 1975, Smith rode 8,752 miles diagonally across the continent of Africa on motorcycle. This trip included 250 miles across the Sahara Desert; 11 men started the trek and Jerry was 1 of 3 who finished. Additionally, he was a professional Flat Track racer, was inducted into the Motorcycle Dealer’s Hall of Fame, and competed in: Demolition Derbies, Sprint Car races, National Jack Pine Runs, the arduous Colorado 500 (16 times until he was 72), and was the author of two books. Both books describe the real adventures that comprised his life: “Into the Heart of Africa” and “Between the Seas; Josefina & I in Central America.” This incredible life, yet Jerry Smith was not a strong athlete; he was a Polio survivor, with a crooked spine and limp to prove it.

Jerry owned Jerry Smith’s Cycle Ranch for 48 years and was a dedicated member of the Hedrick Christian Church. Jerry was always grateful to the Hedrick community for being so kind, thoughtful, and friendly to him; they were like family.

Surviving is his daughter, Belinda (& Andrew) Smith-Cicarella of Ottumwa and daughter Kathy (& Martin) Morales with three grandchildren: Angela, Matthew, and Christina, of Austin, Texas.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Josefina Smith; brothers, Mike and Charles Smith Jr.; nephew, Dennis Smith; and his parents.

Funeral services will be Saturday, July 11th at 4 p.m. in the Fremont Funeral Chapel, with Pastor John Lewis officiating.
Visitation will also be July 11th from 12 to Service time at 4 p.m. Fremont Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.
According to the rules put in place by the Iowa Department of Public Health, proper social distancing and reasonable personal protective equipment is advised for attending a religious public event.
The funeral will be live streamed at the Bates Funeral Home’s YouTube Channel for those wishing to support the family from a distance.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Hedrick Christian Church.

To send flowers or a memorial gift to the family of Jerry Smith please visit the Fremont Funeral Chapel Sympathy Store.

Posted by on Jul 6 2020. Filed under Obituaries. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed


Search Archive

Search by Date
Search by Category
Search with Google
Log in | Copyright by Oskaloosa News