ONEONTA – George W. Smith, Jr., 93, went home peacefully to the Lord on Thursday, June 25, 2020.
George, Junior or Smitty, was born in Rome, N.Y, in 1926, the son of George and Maude (Race) Smith. In 1944, he joined the Navy to defend our freedom in World War II. He trained and served on the USS Manatee in the South Pacific. His service to our country is something he always held in deepest honor and respect.
Returning from military service, Smitty married his sweetheart, Doris Clark, in October 1947 in Rome. Together they raised their sons, George W. Smith, III, and Gary M. Smith, now an A.O. Fox Hospital vice president, spending summers on Piseco Lake.
George worked as the maintenance & grounds director for the Rome City School District until his retirement in 1983. After their retirements, George and Doris spent many winters enjoying family and friends at their home in New Port Richey, Fla., and summers at their beloved camp, Nexta Heaven, in the Adirondacks.
George served as the Exalted Ruler of BPOE, Lodge #96 of Rome. He was a lifetime member of the American Legion, and he especially enjoyed meeting and greeting friends at the VFW in Lake Pleasant. He and Doris enjoyed many reunions with his WWII shipmates at various locations across this country.
In recent years, the couple has lived at the Plains at Parish Homestead.
In addition to his loving wife of 72 years, Smitty is survived by his sons, George W. Smith, III, and his wife, Patricia of Surfside Beach, S.C., and Gary M. Smith, and wife, Kelley Eckmair, of Oneonta. He is survived by his beloved grandchildren, Shannon (Jason) Barton, George W. Smith, IV (Jeana Lobdell), Conor Smith, Ella Smith, Caitlin Smith (Lance Thomas), Allison Smith (David Castellion), and great grandchildren, Finley and Teagan Barton and Alivia Thomas, all of whom he loved so dearly.
He was always there with a helping hand, a gentle touch, a kind word, and his brilliant smile. He had a special way to help us see the good in life. He had an amazing sense of humor, and always kept us laughing. His generosity for all will never be forgotten.
George was predeceased by his five siblings, Harry, Fred, Frank, Howard (Dutch) and Marge. He had so many close friends, too many to start to name. For some, he was considered a second father.
There will be no services at this time, but a celebration of his life will be held at a later date. In his memory, please consider a donation to the Piseco Emergency Squad, the First Baptist Church, Rome, or to a food bank of your choice.
The family wants to thank the staff of A.O. Fox Hospital & Nursing Home for their professional, loving and superior care.