District Lodge 19

where it all begin

Charles Raymond Smith

Charles Raymond Smith

District Lodge 19 would like to spotlight Charles Raymond Smith. Brother Smith is 80 years young and was accompanied by Charlotte, his lovely bride of 61 years, on Monday March 13, 2017 where he was honored by his Brothers from Local Lodge 791 of Fort Worth, Texas. Brother Smith has been an IAM member for 62 years and received his 60 year pin and certificate honoring his life time achievement. 

Brother Smith started his career as an Apprentice February 21, 1955 as a Store Room worker, at the Texas Pacific Railroad. He worked for three railroads during his career and all at the same shop facility. The first merger was with Missouri Pacific and then Union Pacific from which he retired.

As a member, Brother Smith served as President of his Local Lodge for 15 years, upon his retirement he began working with the retirees and in 1992 he began to oversee the activities. Brother Smith said, “Never volunteer because it isn’t temporary.” The hall where they hold their meetings is named the “CR Smith Retirement Hall” in high esteem of his dedicated time and support of these retired members. Brother Smith is very modest about the work he has done and continues to do.

Brother Smith and his wife have two sons, telling of when Charlotte and he were first married and started their family. The Smith’s first son was born January 5th and the second son was born December 5th of that same year. While having taxes done for that year the tax consultant said, “There must be a mistake here.” Brother Smith replied, “Yes, but by the time we found out it was too late to do anything about it.” Brother Smith has two granddaughters, one great grandchild and is very much the family man.

Brother Smith spoke of how back in the day they changed out Power Assemblies in pieces and there were no cranes to lift them out. He spoke highly of the comradery the Bothers in the shop had for one another and the light side of working back in the day. Brother Smith also reminisced about trips to the bar just off the work site, pranks played on one another and lifelong friendships created on the shop floor.

President Craig Reed presented Brother Smith with a 60 year pin, certificate and Gold Lifetime Membership card. General Chairman Heath Jacobs presented him with an IAM Watch and stated, “See you again in 8 years.” There were a number of members present to help celebrate this lifelong achievement.

Congratulations to Charles Raymond Smith for being a fine example of a dedicated and hardworking member both before and after his retirement. Brother Smith’s modesty and intrepid dedication reflect utmost credit upon his selflessness. Thank you for continuing the time honored traditions of the IAM Fighting Machinists.

Members present: President – Craig Reed, Vice President and new E-Board Member – Jesse J. Jurek, Financial Secretary – Robert Smith, Recording Secretary – Ira Kiture, Joshua Behrens, John Patterson, John Ball, Mark Branscomb, Jock J. Tarrer, Guests: General Chairman Lee Carter and General Chairman Heath Jacobs. Honored Member: Charles Raymond Smith and his wife Charlotte.