Dr. Charley R. Smith passed away peacefully on June 22, 2018 surrounded by his family. He was born September 27, 1939 to S.K. and Flo Smith. He earned a degree in biology with a minor in chemistry from the University of New Mexico and his doctorate in dental surgery from the University of Missouri at Kansas City in 1966. He met the love of his life Julee Watson Smith on New Years Eve 1963 and began a love affair for the ages with their wedding on August 1, 1964. They started their dream of building a family and moved to Hobbs, NM where Dr. Smith started his dental practice in 1967. He operated a successful practice and became well loved in the community for his outstanding dental abilities and his endearing personality with all of his patients. In 1981, he retired from dentistry and took over the reins as Chairman of Watson Truck & Supply. In his words, at that time Watson Truck was a “family business without a family”. This was due to his father- in-law Finn Watson having a son John Watson who passed away at an early age. Finn Watson’s dream of perpetuating the family business would have ended without Charley’s commitment to family. He continued this portion of the journey of his life expanding and growing Watson Truck & Supply until his retirement in 2013. After his second “retirement” he began operating a real estate business to continue his lifelong passion of continual learning, expanding his circle of friends and ALWAYS trying to leave any endeavor better off than before he got involved. This thirst for knowledge continued all the days of his life. Those fortunate enough to know him as a business partner will always treasure his integrity, attention to detail and the fact that if he told you he was going to do something there was never a doubt.
Dr. Smith served the community of Hobbs with all of his passion and attention to detail that he was known for. These roles included service on the Hobbs School Board, The Economic Development Corporation, The Lea County Event Center Project and in numerous capacities at his church. In addition to his local civic activities he was elected in 2004 to be head of the National Automobile Dealer’s Association. Traveling the world with Julee and meeting so many wonderful friends is a wonderful memory. Dr. Smith also served on the New Mexico Board of Dentistry for 7 years.
He is survived by his wife of 54 years Julee Watson Smith, brother Joe Smith and his wife Charlotte of El Paso, daughter Hillary Smith of Albuquerque, NM, daughter Jennifer Carriger and her husband Darrell of Midland, Texas, son R. Finn Smith and his wife Paula of Hobbs, NM, and son Scott Smith and wife Carrie of Prosper, Texas. He is also survived by his 13 dearest grandchildren that brought him so much joy. Surviving lifelong friends and family will deeply miss the joy he brought to their lives but will be forever grateful for the memories of this incredible man. God Bless you my love, my father, my Papa Charley and my dear friend.
On behalf of the members of the Tennessee Automotive Association, I want to offer our sincere condolences to the Smith family. All dealers across the country benefitted from Charley's passion for and love of the car and truck business. On a personal note, I want to thank Mrs. Smith for sharing Charley with those of us who work for dealers. I valued his wise counsel and treasured our friendship. My life is richer for having crossed paths with his.
Bob WeaverNashville, TN
Our deepest sympathy for the passing of an outstanding automotive retailer and leader of the National Automobile Dealers Association. His abilities and compassion were deeply appreciated.
Robert J. and Marcy MaguirePrinceton, NJ
We are very sad to hear of Charlie’s passing. He was a giving loving person and a great friend. Hobbs and all who knew him will feel his loss. Our loss is Heaven’s gain. God Bless
Bill and Eileen WaldropHobbs, NM
Julie and Family-We are so saddened by the news of Mr. Smith's passing. We had no idea until yesterday. He was such a great leader and a wonderful dealer. We have fond memories of traveling with you to D.C., many a convention, and so proud of his leadership for our industry in NM. Our thoughts and prayers are with you from our hearts to yours.
Annette and Murray
Annette DiLorenzo Thayer & Murray ThayerAlbuquerque, NM
To use an over used cliche, my thoughts and prayers are for Charley, Julee, and your fantastic family. But truly, like so many in Hobbs I am thinking and praying for all of you. No one could not like Charley. Will miss seeing him and laughing with him. My very best, Jim Botts
Jim BottsHobbs, NM
No words can appropriately express the caring, kind gentleman Charley is. He treated everyone like a family member and I will cherish his memories forever
We are so sad to hear of Charley's passing . Truly a shock as we did not know he was ill. I was his Vice-Chair when he was Chairman of NADA. We worked well together and I considered him my friend. He was a true gentleman in all respects. I remember our golf group offering him a mulligan for a wayward shot but he would say no that wouldn't be fair. We will miss his smile and kindness. Rest in peace old friend.
Jack and Alice KainVersailles, FL
Teddy DurhamRuidoso, NM
Truly sorry for the loss of a great man
Phyllis PierceHobbs, NM
Phyllis PierceHobbs, NM
Julee, Finn and Scott, Mel and I are so very sorry for your loss. He was an amazing person. Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers. In sympathy, Marilynn and Mel
Marilynn and Mel HolbornOrange Beach, AL
We are so sorry to learn of Charley's passing and extend our prayers to our Heavenly Father asking Him to place His loving arms around Charley's family in this time of grief. He was a friend and colleague and will be remembered for his professionalism, his good humor, and his appreciation and consideration for others. He was always a gentleman.
Horace and Kathleen Ross
Horace and Kathleen RossHobbs, NM
He was a fine man. He will be missed. Pat worked at Watson Truck & Supply, Inc. for 17 years. He was very well respected in the community. With love and prayers, Bill & Pat Johnson
Bill and Pat JohnsonPorter, TX
To the Smith family, my deepest and heartfelt condolences on your loss of Charley. My heart is broken for all of you. Julee, I know your heart aches. He is now free from pain and anguish, free from earthly worries and can now breathe the air in heaven. I will miss his smile each day I greeted him with "Good Morning Charley" at the office. I will miss his words of wisdom as he taught me his life learnings and experiences. I will miss his professionalism as he dealt with daily business, whether with life or people. I will miss the funny way he greeted me when he came back from lunch with Julee, "How we doin'?" to which I would answer, "we doin' good!". The long discussions we would have about the news of the day or the stock market. The teachings of a man who I found out was very knowledgeable about everything. And, when he didn't know, he would find out everything he could to get answers. He was always a gentleman. Literally, a gentle man. He could be tough on people when he had to be, but yet, there was always the gentleman evident. Charley was my boss. Charley was my co-worker. Charley was my friend. I'm going to miss my Charley. May you now rest in peace, sleep in God's hands. Love, Judy
Judy JohnsonHobbs, NM
I’m so sorry for your loss . Charley was a long time customer and a great friend.
Trish WolzHobbs, NM