Funeral for chief to be held at Reynolds Center
Citizens and law enforcement officials from all over the county as well as Arkansas and Oklahoma are expected to be in attendance tomorrow at the funeral services for long time Poteau Police Chief B.J. Smith. The services are being held at the Donald W. Reynolds Center in order to accomadate as many people as possible under the direction of Grace Manor Funeral Home in Poteau. Smith passed away Monday following a long battle with Cancer. He leaves behind his wife Ramona, and three boys, Billy Dalton, Joshua Boyd, and Jacob Ryan. An account for the benefit of the children has been opened at The Community State Bank. In lieu of flowers Donations may be made, to the account at The Community State Bank, P.O. Box 769, Poteau."It's a sad for Poteau and all of law enforcement. B.J. will be missed," said Bob Hendrix. who is scheduled to speak at Smith's services tomorrow along with Terry Collins and Stanley Odom. The service is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. Friday and the family will meet with friends tonight from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Grace Manor Funeral Home. According to his obituary, Smith graduated from Poteau High School in 1979. During his high school years, he excelled at sports and was named to the Tulsa World’s All State Team in 1978, for football. He also played the trombone in the Poteau Marching Band. He went on to attend Missouri Southern State College, now known as Missouri Southern State University, majoring in criminal justice and graduated in May 1984. At MSSU, he was a four year starter and had earned All-Conference and All-District honors for two years. His senior year, he made honorable mention in the All America team voting. He received several sports honors after completing college, including being named to the Poteau High School Hall of Fame, MSSU Silver Anniversary Team, and MSSU Hall of Fame. Professionally, his career began at the Poteau Police Department in November 1984. He started as dispatcher and worked his way up through the ranks. He was sworn in as Chief of Police on December 20, 1994. He successfully completed classes at the FBI Academy in the fall of 1995. He served on the LeFlore County Youth Services Board of Directors, on the board of the LeFlore County Child Advocacy Center, Masonic Lodge #46, Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security Region 5 Councilmember and other committees throughout the years. He dedicated many years of service to the City of Poteau and to its community members. He loved spending time with his family and friends whether it was on the farm, hunting and fishing or just relaxing around the house.Officers with the Poteau Police Department are currently wearing black bands over their badges in remembrance of Smith. Members of the department will serve as pallbearers at the services on Friday. Poteau Assistant Police Chief Ronnie Branscum said that the department has been deeply effected by the loss of Smith. You may leave an on-line greeting to the family at www.gracemanorfh.com.