Cover photo for Dale Smidt's Obituary
Dale Smidt Profile Photo
1940 Dale 2023

Dale Smidt

May 4, 1940 — December 14, 2023



Dale Duane Smidt, or “Coach” as known by many, left us peacefully on December 14, 2023, in his home in Hastings, NE surrounded by family at age 83. While Dale’s final days may have been spent in Hastings, NE, his impact will not soon be forgotten by the community where he built and spent his life, Wood River, NE. 

A Celebration of Life Service will be held at the Wood River First United Methodist Church at 10:30 AM on Thursday, December 21, 2023 with Pastor Geoffrey Iringo officiating.  A luncheon will follow at the Wood River Community Center.   A burial of ashes will be held at a later date. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 PM on Wednesday, December 20th also at the church. Memorials are suggested to the family to be designated at a later date.
Dale was born on May 4, 1940, in Trumbull, NE to Elmer and Agnes (Genschmer) Smidt where he attended Trumbull Public Schools, graduating in 1957.  He continued his education at Kearney State College, earning a Bachelors’ Degrees in Physical Education and Mathematics as well as a Master’s Degree in Mathematics. 

Dale was the luckiest man alive on July 27, 1963, when he married his best friend and lifetime partner, Georgene Crandall, in Wilcox, NE.  He was proud of his 3 daughters, 5 grandchildren, and 1 great grandson (soon to be 2).  Dale cherished any chance to spend time with his grandchildren, whether it be watching or playing sports, going to the horse races, or beating them at a game of Gin Rummy.

Dale’s career as an educator spanned 40 years.  Dedicated to his students, he taught high school math and computer science (at the occasional expense of an overhead projector), coached sports (at the occasional expense of a clipboard) and served as athletic director.  His teaching and coaching career began at Wilcox from 1961-1965, he then went to Valley from 1965-66, and settled in Wood River from 1966 until his retirement in 2001. Throughout these years, he coached basketball, golf, cross country and track. 

Dale was a member of national, state and local coaching and education associations, and served on the Nebraska Coaches Association Basketball Advisory Board.  Dale, “Coach Smidt”, had a tremendously successful coaching career that included a basketball record of 486 wins, 7 state tournaments and 12 conference championships without a single losing season.  He was honored to coach the 1991 NCA All-Star Basketball Game.  Dale initiated the golf program at Wood River High School in 1970, which resulted in 3 state championships and 17 conference championships.  

As a member of the First United Methodist Church in Wood River for over 50 years, he taught Sunday School and served on the Pastor Parish Committee.  He could occasionally be spotted drafting basketball plays on his church bulletin.  

If Dale wasn’t watching a ball game, he likely could be found outdoors fishing, camping, or mowing his lawn, as well as his neighbors.  He also spent many summers working as the groundskeeper at the Wood River Country Club.  Dale enjoyed helping family and friends on their farms.  His love of flowers and gardening was apparent to anyone passing by his home.  He was a lifelong fan of the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team.

For a number of years, Dale and Georgene worked with close friends co-owning a shop in Estes Park, CO.   Dale spent countless hours on the lathe making mushrooms and candlesticks from cottonwood to sell in their shop.  Later years found Dale repurposing barn wood into beautiful benches and cabinets.

He is survived by his wife, Georgene of Hastings; daughters, Teresa Smidt and Andi (Craig) McLey both of Hastings; son-in-law, Kyle Webster of Platte City, MO; grandchildren, Zach (Amber) of Platte City, MO, Spencer Webster of Kansas City, MO, Rylee Webster of Kansas City, MO, Sawyer Nietfeld of Denver, CO, and Quinn Nietfeld, also of Denver, CO; one great grandson, Rowan Webster of Platte City, MO; brother, Gary (Elaine) Smidt of Ankeny, IA; and sister, Carol (Joe) Thompson of Hastings, NE; numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Elmer and Agnes Smidt, and his eldest daughter, Lori Webster. 

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

Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, December 20, 2023

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

First United Methodist Church

1105 Main St, Wood River, NE 68883

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Memorial Service

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Starts at 10:30 am (Central time)

First United Methodist Church

1105 Main St, Wood River, NE 68883

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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