Dr. Fred J. Smith, 76, passed away on August 6, 2014. He was born on May 18, 1938, as the second son to Julia Dodd and Frank Engelbert Smith in Brooklyn, NY. He grew up in Wantaugh, NY, and graduated from Amityville High School with the Class of 1954. Fred graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor's of Engineering. He later went back to school earning a Master's and then Ph.D. in Mathematics from Purdue University in 1967. Fred met the love of his life, Virginia Lee Whitesell, while working at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, OH. They married on September 1, 1962, and enjoyed over 51 years of marriage. Together, they raised four beautiful daughters, Anita Ann (John) Schertl, Janet Lee (Steven) Harrison, Gail Denise (Brian) Moseley and Tina Diane (George) Walker. The family moved to South Florida in 1974 and has lived in Plantation since 1976. Fred was a very intelligent man with many talents. He was an exceptional problem solver and engineer. While working at Digital Products Corp. in Oakland Park, he was the first to develop Direct Memory Access for a microprocessor, for which he was featured in a periodical article. He also invented the first automatic dialer, which was used by Sears to call customers and let them know the item they purchased from a catalog was ready to be picked up at a nearby store. The automatic dialer was purchased by several other companies and used as part of the first house arrest system. In addition to his children, Fred is survived by his brothers, Frank (Nancy) Smith, Paul (Mary Ann) Smith and Father Terrence Smith, his sister Ann (Gisela Witz) Smith, his best friend Gary (Patti) Hickman, four grandchildren, Caitlin, Michael, Corrigan and Kai, seven nephews and nieces, and 10 grand-nephews and grand-nieces. He is pre-deceased by his affectionate and loving wife, Virginia Lee Whitesell Smith, and his brother, Robert Smith. A celebration of Fred's life will be held in September. Please call (954) 587-1764 for details. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in his name to your local library.
Published in Sun-Sentinel from Aug. 30 to Aug. 31, 2014