RUDOLPH R. 'RUDY' SMITH
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Rudolph R. "Rudy" Smith, 89, of Exeter, NH, passed away peacefully on Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014 at Riverwoods after recent heart surgery and a period of failing health.
Rudy was born in Kittery, ME on June 8, 1924 to Fred M. Smith and Imelda C. (Gonthier) Smith. He lived in Kittery for 30 years, attending and graduating from Traip Academy in 1941. He served his country in the United States Navy starting in 1943, first as a Seabee, then in the Submarine Service as a Fireman assigned to the USS Steelhead and was honorably discharged in 1946.
After WWII, he attended the University of New Hampshire, graduating in 1951 with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration. While at UNH, he was a member and comptroller of Phi Mu Delta fraternity, many members of which became is life-long friends. He was also in the ROTC and was commissioned as a 2"d Lt. Infantry of the US Army Reserves until being honorably discharged in 1953.
For a brief time in the 1950's, Rudy owned and operated Maple Leaf Cleaners in Hampton, NH. Then in 1960 he established Smith Office Equipment Company in Portsmouth, NH. At it's height, Smith Office Equipment employed over 60 people and was a fixture on Islington St. for over 25 years, at which time he sold the business to retire with his wife Josephine, former owner of Tony's Radio and TV also located on Islington St.
Rudy was a proud member, past president and past zone chairman of the Portsmouth Lions Club and just last year celebrated his 50th anniversary as a member, and was honored at the club's 75th anniversary celebration. He was also an Honorary Squadron Commander at Pease Air Force Base; a founding director of the Atlantic Trust Company; a charter member of the Port of Portsmouth Maritime Museum and Albacore Park and a volunteer for SCORE to name just a few among the many accomplishments in his life.
He (with his wife Josephine) was a long time resident of Greenland, NH as well as a summer resident of Bear Island (Meredith), NH, where he had maintained a summer cottage since 1946 and still remains in the family today. He also spent 12 years in the late 1990's and early 2000's wintering in Green Valley, AZ where he developed many friendships and enjoyed planning and working. in his desert garden. He also lived in Dover, NH from 1991 to 2013, having remarried after his first wife passed.
Most recently he had moved to Riverwoods in Exeter, NH, where he had wanted to live for some time. The staff there gave him excellent care and attention, and as with everyone that knew or encountered Rudy, for even the briefest of meetings, always described him as the nicest, sweetest, kindest and most authentic gentle man. Despite his declining health, Rudy proudly attended the college graduation last May of his grandson Drew and spent a wonderful Christmas together with. his family. After a truly blessed life, he will be deeply missed by those he touched.
He was predeceased by his parents; his wife Josephine (Zanuccoli Vinciguerra) Smith; his brother Roland F. Smith of Potomac, MD; and his second wife Marilyn (Cumming) Smith of Dover, NH.
He is survived by his son Martin F. Srnith and his partner Thomas R. Capano of Topsfield, MA; grandson Drew T. Smith of Worcester, MA; sister Carmel M. O'Brien of Kittery, ME; step daughter Jeanette N. Tinagero of Chico, CA; step son Louis R. Vinciguerra of Portsmouth, NH; 6 step grandsons; 6 nieces and nephews and many other loving friends and family members.
Arrangements were made through Farrell Funeral Home, 684 State St., Portsmouth, NH.
Memorial donations can be made in Rudy's name to the Portsmouth Lions Club, P.O. Box 944, Portsmouth, NH 03801, or to the
Farrell Funeral Home, Inc.
684 State Street
Portsmouth, NH 03801
Published in Green Valley News & Sun on Feb. 9, 2014