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Vernon Smith, age 92, after a brief illness, went peacefully to his Eternal Rest, on March 27, 2015. The youngest of nine children, he was born to William Stephen and Claudia May Smith, on November 21, 1922, in Cleburne, Texas, He graduated from Cleburne High School and after a brief time of working joined the U.S. Navy, serving in the Pacific during WWII on the aircraft carriers USS Cowpens and Boxer. While he was briefly stationed near New Bedford, Massachusetts, he met Mireille Vivian Joncas, and after a brief three week courtship, they married on April 21, 1945. Vernon would often say that there was nothing good about the war, but had it not been for the war, he would never met the love of his life.

At the end of the war, Vernon attended Texas A&M in College Station, Texas and graduated in 1949, with a degree in architecture. He took his first job in Corpus Christi, Texas, where he would spend the rest of his life practicing architecture and raising his family. After working for several different firms, in 1962, he partnered with John Russo to establish the architectural and engineering firm of Smith & Russo. Vernon was an active member of the AIA.

Vernon and Mireille were charter members of St. Pius X Catholic Church where he volunteered his architectural knowledge for many different building projects over the years. He did the same for many priests throughout the Diocese of Corpus Christi. In 2001, at the request of Bishop Carmody, he came out of retirement to do the remodeling of an older building for the present Mother Theresa Shelter.

In 1978, Vernon and Mireille bought land and built a house in the hill country where they spent many happy times together, enjoying nature, family and close friends. One of Vernon's proudest achievements was the design of Nina's Chapel for the late Judge Paul Nye in honor of his wife. The chapel sits on a hillside in the hill country offering an amazing view of the valley below and a place for quiet prayer and meditation.

Vernon was a devoted and loving husband, father, father-in-law, grandfather, and great-grandfather. A man of deep faith, he was admired by everyone for his loving spirit, gentle kindness, constant thoughtfulness and integrity in all things.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 61 years, Mireille and by his parents and all eight of his siblings. He is survived by his three children: Rev. Msgr. Roger Smith of Corpus Christi, Texas, Kathryn Anne Weed (David) of Houston, Texas, and Karen Elizabeth Zalud (Bob) of Pasadena, Texas; his grandchildren Natalie (Weed) Bordman, Allison (Weed) Florence, John David Weed, Jr; his step-grandchildren Zachary, Jason and Nick Zalud, and his great-grandchildren Adalynn and Vaughn Bordman, Taylor and Brayden Florence.

Visitation will take place on Tuesday, March 31, 2015, at St. Pius X Catholic Church from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. with a rosary being recited at 5:30 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Pius X Church on Wednesday, April 1, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. Interment will follow the Mass at Seaside Memorial Park Cemetery.

His children would like to thank Darlene Starry and her staff for taking care of our father Vernon in the last few days of his life with the same love with which they cared for our mother Mireille nine years ago. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be made to The Mother Theresa Shelter, 513 Sam Rankin Street, Corpus Christi, TX 78401 or the Seminary Burse Fund/Diocese of Corpus Christi, P.O. Box 2620, Corpus Christi, TX 78403.

Funeral Home
Seaside Funeral Home & Seaside Chapel
4357 Ocean Drive Corpus Christi, TX 78412
Tel. (361) 992-9411
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