Roy Smith

Obituary of Roy Claar Smith

Roy Claar Smith was born May 4, 1971, in Golden, Colorado, to parents George Robert Smith and Shelia Catherine “Cathy” Smith née Claar.


Roy graduated from Golden High School in 1989. He briefly attended Huron College in South Dakota State. A year later, Roy transferred to Chapman University in Orange, California. While at Chapman, Roy’s talents were quickly identified; he became the president of his fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon. On a five-year plan, in 1994 Roy graduated with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.


In 1996, Roy began his distinguished career with the Greeley Police Department. During those first years, Roy honed his future skills as a police officer; he loved being a cop. In 1999, Roy was selected as a member of the Greeley Police Department’s SWAT team.


In 2003, Roy earned the title of detective and was assigned to the gang unit. His love for that unit, and what it represents, continued to the day he died. His easy-going demeanor and uncanny ability to connect with others made it possible for Roy to establish close relationships with the individuals he dealt with, even those people he arrested. Amazingly, many of those relationships continue, and thrive, all these years later.


In 2006, Roy was promoted to the rank of Sergeant. After a brief stint as a patrol supervisor, he returned to his gang unit, now at the helm. Nine years later, Roy was promoted to the rank of Commander. In a few short years, Roy assumed command of the investigation’s division. In addition to overall command of the investigations section, Roy supervised the department’s victim advocate section; he was beloved by all. Roy had an added responsibility in this position, Team Coordinator for the 19th Judicial District’s Critical Incident Response Team. These duties carried a heavy load, but he performed them all with distinction.



During his illustrious career, Roy was twice awarded the Greeley Police Department’s Meritorious Conduct Bar {for heroic deeds}, three Greeley Police Commendation Bars {for outstanding contributions to law enforcement}, five Certificates of Merit {for outstanding performance during a crisis} and a Certificate of Civic Achievement {for bringing favorable recognition through civic affairs}. Most remarkably, Roy was once awarded the department’s marksmanship award {a lifelong affliction, Roy couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn}!


In 2022, Roy was recognized as the Greeley Police Department’s Supervisor of the Year.


Roy possessed all the profiles of a great leader, beginning with his integrity. He was dedicated, courageous {ask the hostage he once rescued}, respectful, empathetic and gracious.


As a police commander, Roy utterly re-imagined the role. It was not uncommon for Roy to amble up to a group of officers, young and old, wearing a tank-top that revealed but a portion of his many Marvel superhero tattoos. On his feet were his audaciously bright red Converse All-Stars. He would regale the officers with stories from a bygone time when certain things were acceptable. When he bellowed his distinctive laugh, the officers relaxed knowing they were in the presence of their own, and a leader that cared deeply for their well-being.  


To many, Roy was a trusted confidant. He was supremely loyal. He was the backup you wanted when things grew dire. He was the one friend you could always depend on. He was a sounding board for life’s mysteries. He would love you deeply, and you would easily reciprocate. All men should strive to have these things said of them, Roy embodied them to the fullest.  


Many of us might wave at a passing acquaintance and continue on our day. Roy, however, would cross the street and approach with that infectious smile. He would ask how they have been with such genuine interest, the person felt like a long-awaited friend.


Roy’s true love, what made his life whole, were his children. The very topic of Claire, Brooklyn and Cooper, made his eyes light up. He was their greatest supporter and their biggest fan. Whether it was Claire’s cheerleading, Brooklyn’s softball, or Cooper’s baseball, Roy attended every event and enthusiastically supported them. Any achievement, big or small, were celebrated incessantly. His sole purpose in life was to give them love, to protect them, to support their dreams, and to guide them through life. All three know of his hopes for their future, and they must never forget he will always be beside them.


Roy died at his home in Greeley on August 5, 2023. He was preceded in death by his parents. Roy is survived by his beloved sister, Alesha Smith, and his former wife, Stacey Smith. His loss is indescribable; he will be forever missed.


A Life Celebration will be held at the Aims Community College Welcome Center, 4901 W. 20th Street, Greeley, Colorado, on August 17, 2023, at 3:00 p.m. Donations can be made to Roy’s children at the following Venmo account, @inmemoryofroysmith211, or scan this QR code.





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Life Celebration

3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Thursday, August 17, 2023
Aims Community College
5401 W 20th Street
Greeley, Colorado, United States