Smith, Lee Arnold FORT WORTH -- Lee Arnold Smith, 78, died Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, in Fort Worth. Funeral: 2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18, at First United Methodist Church. Lee Arnold Smith was born June 22, 1935, in Silver Creek, N.Y. He was the youngest of three children born to Harry Lee Smith and Fannie Arnold Smith. Lee spent his early years on a family farm in Hanover Center, N.Y., where he attended a one-room schoolhouse. Following the death of his father and then his maternal grandmother, his family moved to the grandmother's house in Oberlin, Ohio. There he continued his schooling through high school. While in junior high school, he played trombone in the high school band. In high school, he earned letters in football and basketball. Lee developed his lifelong love of sailing on nearby Lake Erie and sailed competitively on the Lake. His entrepreneurship was evident early when he used his savings to buy a power lawnmower and contracted with homeowners to maintain their lawns each season. Instead of following his siblings to his hometown Oberlin College, Lee exercised his independence and enrolled in Southern Methodist University, where he graduated in 1958. It was at SMU where he always said he had the good fortune to sit alphabetically next to Virginia Street, whom he married after their graduation. They had two sons, Lee Arnold Jr. and Edwin Mark. Lee had a long and successful career at the Bank of Commerce in Fort Worth, where he served as senior vice president. After his retirement, he became involved with competitive sailing at the Fort Worth Boat Club, New York Yacht Club and the America's Cup and was a member of the Storm Trisail Club. Lee and a friend from California started the November Cup, an annual sailing competition between some of Texas and California's finest high school sailors. Throughout his life, he spent much of his time in Newport, R.I., where he jointly owned the White Horse Tavern with friends from Fort Worth. In his later years, Lee was active in Bible Study Fellowship, First United Methodist Church and took dancing lessons and traveled with his longtime companion, Connie Blake. Lee was an engaging and charming man, always a gentleman and never met a stranger. The family is deeply grateful for the care given to him at the James L. West Alzheimer's Center in the last years of his life. Lee was a member of the Fort Worth Boat Club, the New York Yacht Club, First United Methodist Church and Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. Survivors: His brother and sister-in-law, Floyd and Jane Smith; cousin, Pete Arnold; sons, Lee Arnold Jr. and Mark; grandchildren, Brittany, Sloane and Spencer Smith, and Georgia and Virginia Smith; and great-grandson, Landon Kucish.
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3100 White Settlement Rd. Fort Worth, TX 76107
Published in Dallas Morning News from Sept. 17 to Sept. 18, 2013