Marlin Rocelius “Red” Smith
Marlin Rocelius “Red” Smith Jr. helped found Parkhill, Smith & Cooper in 1945. He worked hard but took a strong interest in family.
“He was one of the most positive, cheerful people I think that I’ve ever met,” said Cy Leland, Red’s nephew. “And he liked children – he liked all of us kids. He and his wife Marjorie just doted on all of the children and of course Marlin R. Smith III and Shirley, their own children, as well.”
Red’s children remember his unwavering joviality, his humor and the kindness and fun he bestowed on anyone who visited the Smith home. Red enjoyed telling the children about A&M and his days on the Texas Plains as a young man.
While Red was on summer break from A&M, the Engineering Department of Coleman County, Texas, hired him as a rodman. He graduated in 1924 from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. He worked for a wildcat drilling company while in college.
Red moved to Lubbock after graduation to work for Hawley & Roberts Consulting Engineers as an inspector on municipal projects in Lubbock and Lamesa, Texas. In the early part of 1926, he was an office engineer with Frank Dubois, Consulting Engineer, in Childress, Texas.
Later in 1926, he worked for the Lubbock City Engineering Department and later was appointed City Engineer of Lubbock. In that role, he was involved in early-day Lubbock infrastructure and planning for the future of the city.
In 1945 he helped start PSC with Gordon Parkhill and Clarence Cooper. Red was asked to again serve as Lubbock City Manager in 1948 and 1949, but he returned to PSC in 1950, worked full time until 1975 and then part-time on special projects after he retired. Red had a much-lauded memory for detail and enjoyed talking about the firm’s accomplishments. Red had both immense pride and an enduring interest in the company’s projects. One of his favorite projects entailed bringing water from the Canadian River in North Texas and pumping it into the Ogallala Aquifer to help replenish that body of water.
Red was a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers. He was also a member of the South Plains Chapter of the Texas Society of Professional Engineers and was named Engineer of the Year in 1963. Red was active in the Lubbock Country Club, a member of Lubbock Kiwanis Club for 40 years and a member of Lubbock First Christian Church. Red passed away in Lubbock on December 7, 1986.