Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX

Larue Barnes

February 19, 2012

Larue Barnes: Powerful career

Cleburne’s Mark Smith reflects on past jobs


Mark Smith was recruited for employment on a university campus in 1971, and retired from the same company 40 years later. His entire career has been one of power.

As a mechanical engineering specialist with Luminant, the electric power generating company for TXU Corporation until it was sold to Energy Future Holdings in 2007, Smith never wanted to pull the plug.

“I worked for the company, which had several names during my employment for my entire career,” he said. “Mostly, I worked in positions that provided engineering solutions to issues going on at the power plants, both during the construction of the plants and while they were operating.”

His job always held a challenge.

After graduating from the University of Texas at Arlington in May 1971, Smith began work with the company in the construction support group at the Monticello Plant near Mount Pleasant. 

“I transferred to the construction support group at the Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant near Glen Rose in January 1975. That’s when we moved to Cleburne.”

After the plant become operational he stayed at Comanche Peak and supported operation of the plant. In 1999, he transferred to the Dallas office, commuting to work in a group that provided engineering support and project management for the operating fossil-fueled (coal and natural gas) plants. He retired there last September.


Growing up

Smith was born in Fort Worth and spent his early years in south Denton County, now Double Oak.

“We moved to Keller in 1956, so my dad, Frank, could be closer to his job as a fireman and engineer for the Texas & Pacific [Railway] and later the Missouri Pacific Railroad. 

“After my two sisters, Leta and Jill, and I were all in school, my mom, Violet, returned to work for the Federal Government — for the Secret Service Corps of Engineers and General Services Administration.”

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