Cover photo for Phillip Grant Smith's Obituary
Phillip Grant Smith Profile Photo
1946 Phillip 2019

Phillip Grant Smith

August 27, 1946 — August 17, 2019

Phillip Grant Smith died peacefully on August 17, 2019, hand in hand with his wife and sons. He was born August 27, 1946 in Lebanon, IN to Maynard Eugene Smith and Helen Margaret Smith. He was the fourth of five children: older brothers Mike and Denny, older sister Peg and younger sister Kathy. He grew up in the small farming community of North Salem, IN. Kathy shares the following on behalf of his family in Indiana: “Phil was always ambitious as a boy. He would take fresh produce from the garden into town and sell vegetables outside the barbershop. He made enough money to buy a shoeshine kit and would sit outside the barbershop and shine shoes. That earned him enough money to purchase a bicycle and he started a paper route. He did quite well and earned a trip to Coney Island. He also earned enough money to buy a lawn mower. He mowed, weeded and edged. With that money he purchased Hampshire pigs and rented some fenced in property just south of North Salem and raised them until they were old enough to sell. He worked for local farmers and was a hard worker and well-liked by his employers. I don't remember him asking Mom for money, he earned his own.”

“Our maternal grandfather lived just down the street and was a widower. Phil and he got along very well, and he was a good mentor for Phil. Papaw Ken was a soft-spoken and wise man. They both benefited from each other’s company. Papaw owned a Shell gas station across the street and Phil would help pump gas and wash customer's windshields. Phil was also one of Great Aunt Thelma's favorite nephews. He built a beautiful console stereo out of a buffet for her. He installed a radio, turntable and speakers and it was cherished by her. He always made it a point to visit with her when he was in Indiana. They drank wine or strong coffee and talked for hours.”

“Phil enjoyed playing basketball and was very good at the game. He was captain of the team his senior year in high school and won the MVP trophy. He was also President of his senior class. Phil was popular and well-liked by his peers.”

“Phil was a good son, grandson, nephew and brother.”

Phil joined the Navy August 26, 1964 after high school graduation and was honorably discharged August 25, 1967. He served in Fighter Squadron Twenty-One on the Coral Sea and Midway aircraft carriers as an Aviation Ordnanceman Second Class. One of the Letters of Commendation he received was for participating in the combat operations that resulted in the destruction of the first two MiG fighter jets downed in Southeast Asia. He fell in love with the Rocky Mountains driving from his base in Miramar, CA to Indiana, so after two years with Trans World Airlines in Indianapolis, IN he moved to Denver, CO where he worked for a year to establish residency. He attended Mesa Junior College in Grand Junction, CO for one year to acclimate to the college environment, and then transferred to Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO where he earned a B.S. in Business Administration, graduating in spring 1974. He moved to Billings, MT in August 1974 for his new employment with Kmart as an Assistant Manager. He was transferred to Bozeman, MT in June 1975. Phil began his career of 34 years with DA Davidson in September 1977. After obtaining his Series 7 license, he went to the Helena DA Davidson Office as an Account Executive in December 1977. He was transferred to the Bozeman Office to serve as Branch Manager in late 1980. He stepped down from that position after ten years since he felt fresh ideas were vital to maintain the reputation of excellence the office enjoyed. He retired December 31, 2011 as a Senior Vice President, Financial Consultant. Phil cherished his association with DA Davidson and all of his co-workers and clients. He frequently remarked that he was very lucky to be able to provide for his family by doing something he loved.

Phil felt it was important to share his good fortune through service. In Helena, he was a member of the Lions Club. In Bozeman, he was a member of the Rotary Club, served on the Valley View Board and was a volunteer for Warriors and Quiet Waters.

While in Billings, Phil met his future wife, Bonnie Lee Shotwell, daughter of Jack and Patricia Lundahl Shotwell. She worked in the Kmart cash office and Phil said she “smelled like money”, forgetting it wasn’t HER money. He proposed to her July 4, 1975, while gutting the fish they had caught at Hyalite Reservoir that day. They married September 20, 1975 in Billings, MT. They have two wonderful sons: Adam Phillip Smith and Matthew Eric Smith.

Phil’s enjoyment of outdoor activities started in high school, where he not only played basketball, but also participated in track, cross-country and baseball. But being an Indiana Hoosier, basketball was number one in his heart. After moving out West, he took up fly fishing and camping, as well as skiing. We really enjoyed activities involving watercraft: drift boats, rafts and especially canoes once our sons taught us how to maneuver them after taking a summer class. There were also many wonderful rafting/camping adventures with friends and family, including ten special Smith River excursions. The most memorable float was a six-day guided trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon with ten of our Bozeman buddies. Phil also took up pickle ball a few years ago and preferred it to tennis, which he played for a few years until it started taking too much time away from his GOLF! He enjoyed woodworking, making many beautiful items, including Great Aunt Thelma’s console stereo, several bookcases, a cradle for our first grandchild, and he assisted his brother-in-law, John, a professional woodworker, in making a beautiful china hutch for us.

Phil was not one for regrets. He tried to live a life of integrity, being respectful of others and valuing honest, hard work. He loved his family, the heart of his life. He knew the importance of laughter – oh, what a sly sense of humor that man had! He loved his sons, and tried to set a good example for them, as Papaw Ken had done for him, and how he adored his granddaughters! Our almost 44 years of marriage, with all the usual ups and downs, is the best way I know of to tell of our love, admiration for and commitment to each other. And just a few days before his death, he expressed his confidence in whatever God had in store for him because “HE knows a lot more than I do”.

Phil was preceded in death by his parents, Ding and Helen; Papaw Ken; Great Aunt Thelma; his brother, Mike and Mike’s wife, Sue and their son, Brett; brother Denny “P.D.”; his good friend and cousin, Mark Bunton; his in-laws, Jack and Pat and his brother-in-law, Alan Shotwell.

Survivors include: wife, Bonnie; oldest son, Adam and his husband, Ture Turnbull of Boston, MA; youngest son, Matt, of Belgrade, MT and his daughters, Caydence “Katie” Marie and Macy Ahna, and their mother, Stacy Adams Smith, of Portage, MI; sister, Peg and her husband, Jim Williams of North Salem, IN; sister, Kathy and her husband, Imants Freimanis of Danville, IN; sister-in-law, Sheila Smith of Elko, NV; sister-in-law, Colleen and her husband, John Rickard of Billings, MT; sister-in-law, Ann and her husband Kraig Kincaid of Billings, MT; many nieces and nephews, all of whom he loved very much; and many wonderful and well-loved friends.

Military honors will be held 3:00 PM at Sunset Hills Cemetery, Friday, August 23, 2019. Family and friends please meet at Dahl Funeral & Cremation Service at 2:45 PM to process to the cemetery. A celebration of life will follow the military honors at Dahl Funeral & Cremation Service.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the Warriors & Quiet Waters Foundation, 351 Evergreen Drive, Ste A, Bozeman, MT 59715

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Phillip Grant Smith, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, August 23, 2019

Starts at 3:00 pm (Mountain (no DST) time)

Sunset Hills Cemetery

340 Golf Way, Bozeman, MT 59715

Family & friends please meet at Dahl Funeral & Cremation Service at 2:45 PM to process to the cemetery. A Celebration of Life will follow the military honors at Dahl Funeral & Cremation Service.

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