Milford Leroy Smith

Funeral Services were held Wednesday, May 27th, at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Odell, Neb, for 82-year old Milford Leroy Smith of Odell.

Smith, a long-time superintendent of schools in Gage County and advocate for rural schools, was born September 26, 1938 and died May 21, 2020.

Milford Smith graduated from Chadron High School in 1956 and Chadron State Teacher’s College in 1960, then taught at several schools in Nebraska before becoming the Superintendent of Schools at Brewster. In 1972, he began a 29-year tenure as Superintendent of the Odell Public Schools.

Smith was appointed by Governor Ben Nelson to the property tax review committee, and also served on the governor’s commission on local government innovation and restructuring.

He received the District 1 Honor Award from the Nebraska Council of School Administrators in 1995 and in 2000 was awarded the Outstanding Superintendent Award by the Nebraska Rural Community Schools Association.

After retiring, he helped co-found the Nebraska Coalition for Education Equity and Adequacy to make sure small Nebraska schools had a voice in the Nebraska legislature.

Milford Smith served on the Odell Village Board and was active in the Odell Community Foundation and the Odell Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department. He was a member of the Odell Area Community Enrichment Organization and was named Volunteer of the Year in 2007.

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