Pine Bluffs Post - Serving all of Eastern Laramie County since 1908

Melvin Lee Smock


Melvin Lee Smock born in Greeley, CO, Aug. 8, 1947, to Carlyle (Chub) and Elsie Schwab Smock, passed away Jan. 1, 2015. He was raised on a ranch east of Grover, CO. Elsie and Chub had six children; Ron, Don, Carlyle (Corky), Mel, fraternal twin Alvin (P.W.) and Carolyn. They were a close knit group, sharing in many adventures. Growing up, Mel enjoyed playing sports, especially basketball, baseball, running and participating in 4H. In 1965 he was awarded the very prestigious 4H award, The Round Robin; the top award for showmanship having excelled in showing 6 different animals. He graduated in 1965 from Grover High School as salutatorian of his class.

Mel attended college at University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO, after high school. In 1966, he enlisted in The U.S. Marine Corp. He attended basic training at Camp Lejeune, NC, and was stationed at Camp Pendleton, CA. He served our country for three years, returning to private life in 1969. While in the military service, he established a friendship with fellow soldier, Max Smith who offered him a job with his father's construction company as soon as he completed his military service. He accepted the employment offer with Max Smith's father's company and ended up in Benedict, NE, working on a grain elevator.

While working on the grain elevator in Benedict, he met Debbie Blankenship through a mutual friend in York, NE. They were married in 1970. Shortly after their marriage, they returned to the family ranch in Grover, CO, to help with the operations. After a few months, Mel was offered employment with Debbie's father, Cliff Blankenship, who had been given the entire state of Nebraska and the southwest portion of Iowa to sell and service Bush Hog farm equipment. Mel accepted the new position but insisted he knew nothing about sales. Within 5 years, he had helped turn this territory into one grossing over $2M dollars in annual sales, thanks to his determination and hard work.

Mel and Debbie had two children together, Candy and Troy. In 1977, the family moved to Iowa where Mel acquired the SW Iowa territory for Bush Hog, Inc. The couple settled in Red Oak, IA where they raised their children. Mel enjoyed his time in Red Oak where he became involved in his children's school and sports activities, church, and men's slow pitch softball league. He was influential in the purchase and renovation of the Assembly of God church in Red Oak in 1986. From 1980 to 1983 he founded and played for the Bush Hogs, a men's slow pitch softball team. The team went to state playoffs in 1982.

In 1983, Mel joined Oakview Construction, Inc. as an estimator. Again, with hard work and determination, he learned a new trade and repeated his success in the construction field. He continued to expand his experience in estimating and project management, and worked for national companies such as Midwest Drywall, Inc. in Wichita, KS as Vice President, and Embree Construction, Inc., in Georgetown, TX. He was highly regarded by his employers, co-workers and subcontractors.

In 1992, Mel began working for S.C. Anderson, Inc. in Bakersfield, CA. As Senior Project Superintendent, he built and renovated numerous multi-million dollar sites in Bakersfield and the surrounding area. He took pride in his work and always finished ahead of schedule. Mel Smock was the man called in to get the job done when a project was behind schedule. He was known and respected for his knowledge, precise workmanship and his work ethic.

Mel met and married Jan Dominguez of Santa Barbara, CA in 1994, who had three children of her own; David (Maria) Murbach of Bakersfield, CA, Cari (Rick Grayston) of Santa Barbara, CA, and Lori Flores of Santa Barbara, CA; and six grandchildren, Davey, Alyssa, Jacob, Josh, Adriana and Brandon. Mel and Jan lived on Alcott Drive in Bakersfield, CA, since 1997, where their home became a popular spot for family gatherings.

Mel loved spending time with his family, playing pool with his grandchildren, renovating his home, gardening, collecting antique model cars and antiquing.

Mel is survived by brothers, Don (Joyce), Corky, P.W. (Cecelia); and a sister, Carolyn Branigan; his wife, Jan Smock; daughter and son-in-law, Candy and James Prendeville of Round Rock, Texas; son and daughter-in-law, Troy and Rebecca Smock of Ahwahnee, CA.; and five grandchildren, Sean Prendeville, Lauren Prendeville, Elsa Smock, Ryan Prendeville and Jonah Smock.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and his brother, Ron Smock.

Mel Smock touched the lives of many. He learned at a very young age, and in his time in the service, the importance of perseverance, dedication, honesty and hard work, and exemplified these characteristics throughout his life. He was strong mentally and physically, overcoming two near death experiences earlier in his life. He taught his children to love, to give unselfishly, and pursue their dreams. He loved and was loved deeply.

Mel passed away peacefully in his home with his family by his side.

A memorial picnic at Bittersweet Park – West, in Greeley, CO., is currently being planned for Aug. 8, 2015. Please contact his daughter, Candy at for more information.


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