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H. SELWYN SMITH Obituary


SMITH, H. Selwyn (Ret. Circuit Court Judge), passed away peacefully Saturday, August 24, 2013, surrounded by his family. He died knowing that the newest member of his family had been born 72 hours earlier, managing a slight smile and a twinkle in his eyes when hearing the news and seeing a picture of his new great-grandson. Judge Smith was 91 years old. Born on July 19, 1922, in Manassas, he was raised on the family farm in Nokesville, Va., that had been in his father's family for generations. He served his country as an Army Captain during World War II, earning several battlefield decorations. He was seriously wounded in the Allied push into Germany in March of 1945, and was hospitalized for five months. After the war Judge Smith married Virginia Margaret Busk "Jenny" of Plant City Florida. Their romance journeyed through 64 years until her passing in November of 2009. Jenny and Selwyn raised four children. Together, Jenny and Selwyn passed on fabulous memories of growing up on the "farm," known as "Smitherwood." Judge Smith graduated from Virginia Tech in 1943, in an accelerated class of potential officers and soldiers. While at Tech he served as a Company Commander in the Corp of Cadets, and earned his Bachelor's degree, in Agricultural Sciences. After the war and as newlyweds Judge Smith and Jenny traveled across the country for two years to fulfill his assigned military duties at a number of different military bases. It was during this time that he solidified his desire to pursue a career in law. In the summer of 1947 he enrolled, in an accelerated law program at the University of Virginia, earning his degree in two years. A month later he established his law practice in Manassas, becoming one of only eight attorneys in the area at that time. In 1960, he was elected Commonwealth's Attorney of Prince William County. In 1972, he was elected to serve in the Virginia Senate for a four-year term. In 1976, he was appointed by Governor Mills Godwin to assume the newly legislated position of Secretary of Public Safety; and he continued to serve in that position for the term of Governor John Dalton. In 1980, he was appointed to serve as Circuit Court judge of Prince William County. He retired from that position on June 30, 1993, but continued to serve as a substitute Circuit Court judge for 10 years. Judge Smith often remarked that he was honored to serve the Commonwealth in all three branches of government. In 1999, the Virginia Bar Association recognized him for "50 Years of Outstanding Legal Service" to the Commonwealth. Judge Smith is survived by his two sons and two daughters, Victor A. Smith and his wife, Robin, of Richmond, Va., Alison Smith Dixon and her husband, Michael, Steven Selwyn Smith and his wife, Jane, and Carolyn Smith Jacobs and her husband, Brad, all residents of Manassas, Va. In addition, Judge Smith is survived by nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Judge Smith was the remaining patriarch of a large family, having been preceded in death by his parents, Harold and Lucy Smith; and his two brothers and his sister, Harry Smith, Ray Smith and Naomi Smith Nace. He was a loved and respected uncle and advisor to his nine nieces and nephews and their families. Throughout his final year of life Judge Smith was surrounded by CONTINUED

This obituary was originally published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Read Full Obituary for H. SMITH
Published online on August 26, 2013 courtesy of Richmond Times-Dispatch.

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