Emory Hoyt Smith II, 87, of Abilene passed away on May 16, 2017 after a brief illness.

Emory Hoyt Smith II, 87, of Abilene passed away on May 16, 2017 after a brief illness. Hoyt was born and raised in Ballinger, Texas and now rests in peace in his family plot at Ballinger’s Evergreen Cemetery.

Hoyt was born in1929, three months after his father (Emory Hoyt Smith I) passed away. His mother, Ina, was re-married to Andrew Buchanan and they had two children, Thomas and Mary Ann (all preceded Hoyt in death). Hoyt spent most of his boyhood in the Runnels County jailhouse. His stepfather was the Deputy Sherriff and his mother served as the jailhouse cook. The family quarters were on the ground floor of the jailhouse and the cells were on the second floor.

Hoyt graduated from Ballinger High School in 1946. He was proud of being a Ballinger Bearcat and attended many high school reunions. After graduation, he enlisted in the army with some of his fellow Bearcats. Several of his closest friends (including Bob Northington) waited for Hoyt to be old enough to enlist. They served together in the Korean War and remained life long friends.

After leaving the army, Hoyt attended the University of Texas at Austin on the GI Bill. He majored in accounting and also kept fit with weight lifting and bodybuilding. After UT, Hoyt went to Rangeley, Colorado to work for his uncle. While there, he met his future wife, Lee Ann Allison. They were married November 24, 1951 in Rangeley. As newlyweds, they lived for a short time in Portland, Oregon. Hoyt liked to say they left Oregon because “there were too many trees” and moved to Abilene because it was “flatter, had fewer trees, and a better view”. Hoyt initially worked for the Milk Producer’s Association, but eventually settled into a long career as a CPA. He served a year as president of the Abilene CPA association.

Hoyt loved people and could spend hours telling his stories and hearing theirs. This passion was facilitated by his keen memory and intelligence. He had a robust capacity for remembering dates, events, and all the people involved. He was also a word master with excellent grammar. One of his UT professors once suggested that he become a English professor.

Hoyt is survived by his wife of 65 years, Lee Ann Smith; daughter Allison Smith and her partner Bob Tom Reed; son Scott Smith; son Steve Smith; and “special daughter” Laura McSpadden-Keck. Hoyt is also survived by grandson Jason Williams, Jason’s wife Sarah, their daughter Erin Marie; granddaughter Amy Smith; granddaughter Amanda Gonzalez and her son Giovanni.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, June 24, 2017 at 2:00 PM at the North Funeral Home in Abilene. In honor of his love of storytelling, participants are encouraged to share special memories of Hoyt at this service.