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Harold L. "Pete" Smith of Brentwood, Tennessee, passed away on May 10, 2014. He was preceded in death by his parents, Harold and Dolores Smith, and his sister, Jeanne Jensen.
Born in Muskogee, Oklahoma on September 20, 1922, he graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan and then served as a naval officer during World War II. He had a distinguished thirty-eight year career with General Motors beginning as a Detail Project Engineer in 1946. He was promoted to several positions of increasing responsibility within the Engineering Department of GM's Electro-Motive Division in McCook, Illinois until he was named Chief Engineer in 1965. In 1972, he was named a GM Vice-President and General Manager of Electro-Motive, the world's largest producer of railroad locomotives. In 1974, he was promoted to Group Executive in charge of the Non-Automotive and Defense Group at GM's headquarters in Detroit, Michigan. He later assumed responsibility for GM's Power Group and Detroit Diesel Allison Division before retiring in 1982. While living in the Detroit area, he served on the Board of the Merrill Palmer Foundation and was the Campaign Chair of the United Foundation Torch Drive. He enjoyed golf, boating and entertaining family and friends while retired in Grand Haven, Michigan, West Palm Beach, Florida and Brentwood, Tennessee.
A very loving and devoted husband, father and grandfather, he is survived by his wife and best friend of over 69 years, Jean (Critchfield) and six children: James (Ellen) Washington, DC, Susan Leonard (Charles), Mount Dora, FL, Thomas (Jane), Indianapolis, IN, Jeffrey (Karen), Columbia, TN, Mary Gehm (Gary), Arlington Heights, IL and Douglas (Deidre), Hickory Corners, MI; 15 grandchildren: Jessica Burk, Sarah Yaccarino, Steven Leonard, Keven Leonard, Julie Smith, Rebecca Kleszyk, Karen Smith, Katy Enriquez, Michael Smith, Robert Gehm, Stuart Smith, Taylor Smith, Patrick Smith, Madeline Smith and Emma Smith; 11 great-grandchildren, a niece and 3 nephews.
A celebration of his Life will be held May 16, 2014 at Brentwood United Methodist Church, 309 Franklin Road, Brentwood, TN at 11 a.m. Visitation at the church will be at 9:30 a.m. Members of the Wesley Forum Sunday School Class (Brentwood United Methodist Church) will serve as Honorary Pallbearers.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Fisher Center for Alzheimer's Research Foundation, 199 Water Street, 23rd Floor, New York, NY 10038 or the
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Austin Funeral & Cremation Services
5115 Maryland Way Brentwood, TN 37027
Published in The Tennessean from May 14 to May 15, 2014