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Mars Hill - H. P. "Hank" Smathers, age 89, went to his heavenly home on Monday, February 25, 2013 at the Mars Hill Retirement Center.
He was born May 14, 1923 to Perry and Jessie Smathers. He was preceded in death by both his parents, his sister, Betty Smathers, and just four months ago by his beloved wife, Aldeen.
Hank managed the Farm Federation in Canton for years then Southern State in Asheville. After retiring he worked for Purolator Courier. This allowed him to enjoy one of his favorite pastimes: driving the beautiful country side in Western North Carolina.
Hank was a gentle and kind man being a loving and devoted husband. As a couple, they served as an example for all those associated with him and Aldeen as to what a wonderful marriage could look like. Hank and Aldeen loved traveling, he was always quick to help out a charitable cause, and he was a talented weekend carpenter who could tackle most any building project.
He had a passion for sports, especially if it involved the Atlanta Braves or the Carolina Tarheels. He enjoyed sharing his experiences in traveling, in particular stories of their trip to Poland where he found the people to be wonderful. He also loved owning and restoring old cars.
He served his country during World War II as a Technician Fourth Grade with Company C 271st Combat Engineers. Hank served in Ardennes, Rhineland and Germany from 1943 to 1946. He loved America and felt honored to uphold her beliefs in freedom. Hank received three Bronze Service Stars, a Victory Medal, an American Theater Campaign Medal and a Bronze Star Medal.
He is survived by sisters-in-law, Luellen (Royce) Costic of Macon, GA and Luetta (Don) Gregg of Hendersonville; nine nieces and nephews; 18 great-nieces and nephews; and nine great-great nieces and nephews; and beloved friend Rob Thornberry.
Funeral services will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 3, 2013 at Merrimon Avenue Baptist Church with the Reverend Daniel Dockery and Reverend Tom Lomax officiating. Burial will follow at Ashelawn Garden of Memories. The family will receive friends from 1:30 until 2:45 p.m. prior to the service at the church.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Merrimon Avenue Baptist Church, 283 Merrimon Avenue, Asheville, NC 28801 or to Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas 66675.
Special thanks are extended to the staff of Mars Hill Retirement Center and to the HomeWatch Caregivers. They didn't just care for him, they loved him with their hearts and this was felt by Hank. He considered them his family as well.
For those who desire, an online memorial register is available at "Obituaries" at www.wellsfuneralhome.com
Published in the Asheville Citizen-Times on Mar. 3, 2013