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Industry Mourns Death of Texas Banker Rick Smith

August 2020

Fredrick M. "Rick" Smith, Sr., former SWGSB Foundation trustee (2003-2009), passed away at his home in Austin, Texas, on July 25, 2020. Mr. Smith served as Texas Bankers Association (TBA) chairman from 1994 to 1995, and, later, president and CEO of TBA from 1999 to 2009. He was actively involved in the banking industry for more than fifty years, including as president, chief operating officer and, finally, chief executive officer of Community Bank & Trust in Waco, Texas. After his retirement from TBA, he joined the board of The Independent BankersBank. In 2015, he was honored by the industry with the prestigious "50-Year Banker Award." TBA presents this award to "bankers with a half century or more of service and dedication to the banking industry." A lifelong Episcopalian, Mr. Smith held a number of leadership positions in the churches of which he was a member: senior warden at the Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit in Waco; and verger at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Austin.

Chris Furlow, current TBA president and CEO, said of Mr. Smith: "Rick committed his professional life to our industry and to his fellow bankers. He uniquely served as both chairman of TBA, the elected volunteer leader of the organization, and as president and CEO, managing TBA’s professional staff and operations."

A native of Albuquerque, New Mexico, he was born on March 23, 1946; he was raised in Abilene, Texas, where he excelled at track at Abilene Cooper High School. His state record for the long jump still holds, more than fifty years later. He attended Baylor University on both a track scholarship and a Citizen's Bank of Waco scholarship, graduating with a BBA in accounting. After graduation, he taught at Baylor's Hankamer School of Business as a guest lecturer. He became a CPA after attending the University of Wisconsin. He served as a trustee for McLennan Community College and was active in The Baylor Waco Foundation.

Among his leisure pursuits were golfing, gardening and collecting rare coins, pocket watches and elephants. He was elected president of the Ridgewood Country Club in Waco. He spent many happy hours with his Norwich Terriers Maggie, Glory and Milo.

Mr. Smith is survived by his wife Kathy, of Austin; son David, of Hutto; his brother Steve Smith, of Sugarland; his nephew, Matt Smith, of Sugarland; his uncle Jeff Williams (Barbara) of Keller; and his uncle Marlis Smith, of Denver. He was preceded in death by his son Frederick "Mark" Smith, Jr.

He will be remembered for his wit and wisdom. When asked to share his thoughts on life, he said, "Be a good listener, ask appropriate questions, pay attention to details, count your blessings and be thankful for good and faithful friends. For life is both precious and short."

Gifts may be made in his memory to The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, The Settlement Home for Children or the charity of your choice. A memorial service will be held later. Arrangements by Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home, Austin, Texas (512/452-8811). Share your memories of Mr. Smith at www.wcfish.com.

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