The Edmond Sun

Local News

October 28, 2009

Edmond funeral service planned for Sonic founder

EDMOND — Family and friends are preparing a local church funeral to say goodbye to Troy N. Smith Sr., the founder of Sonic, America’s Drive-In.

The funeral for Smith will be at 2 p.m. Friday at the First Christian Church of Edmond, with interment at Memorial Park Cemetery. Smith, an Edmond resident, died Monday at age 87 following a brief illness.

Ralph Mason, who has known Smith for 47 years, described him as a “quiet, humble genius.”

“Troy is probably an unknown giant of Oklahoma business because of his quiet demeanor, but Sonic is a nationally known and publicly traded company,” Mason said.

“Not only did he give us the opportunity to have Sonic franchises, he taught us how to run them in a profitable and ethical way,” said Mason, a Sonic franchise owner. “He positively influenced the lives of thousands of people, and he has given us opportunities to have a better financial life than we would have had without him.”

“Troy Smith’s impact will be felt at the University of Central Oklahoma for years to come,” University of Central Oklahoma President W. Roger Webb said in a statement. “He and his wife, Dollie’s, generosity shines in the bright futures of our students who benefit from the opportunities they have helped create here. The Central family grieves with Dollie, Troy Jr., Leslie and the rest of the Smith family at his loss, and is glad to have called this Oklahoma pioneer a friend.”

In January 2007, the Smiths donated $3 million worth of Sonic Corporation stock to UCO, the single largest unrestricted cash gift in the school’s history. Son Troy “Butch” Smith Jr. currently serves on the UCO Foundation board.

Born in 1922, Troy Smith Sr. grew up in the oil patch in east central Oklahoma, attending Mountain View School and Seminole High School. In 1940, he married his sweetheart, Dollie Twiggs, before going into the Army Air Corps in 1943.

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