1923 ~ 2013|
Myron G. Smith was born on June 2, 1923 in Council Bluffs, Iowa son of Rachel Lucy (Doner) and Ralph Smith.
On November 22, 2013, Myron G. Smith departed on his last flight. As a young boy he dreamed of flying airplanes and thanks to a neighbor, Alma G. Winn, he had his first flight in 1940 at age seventeen. Shortly thereafter he made his first solo flight and enjoyed flying at the Midvale Flying Club. He graduated from West High School in 1941 and enrolled at the University of Utah. In March 1943 he entered the Army aviation flying training program and won his wings in April 1944. He trained in C-47-aircraft and flew out of Honolulu, delivering supplies and personnel to New Zealand and many islands to the north including New Caledonia and Guadalcanal. In June 1946 he returned to civilian life and graduated from the University of Utah in 1949 with a degree in business marketing. During this period he also was flying military aircraft with the Utah Air National Guard. Because of the Korean War he was recalled to active duty in July 1951. Myron's military career included challenging but interesting assignments to Germany (three occasions), the Pentagon (twice), and Vietnam. He experienced enemy fire both in the air and on the ground. Mortar attacks were more of a random threat but did generate a helpless feeling, especially while flying at night. Follow-on assignments to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and then as the Berlin senior Air Force officer and as base commander of Templehof AFB during the time the Berlin occupation was terminated, proved to be the most interesting. Daily contact with the German people and the British, French, and Russian forces revealed a common desire to live in peace. Colonel Smith served in the Air Force for a total of thirty-four years. He had deep appreciation for the support and confidence shown by the leaders who guided him. The enlisted personnel and civil service employees were the backbone of every organization. Their support was always there. He was a command pilot with over 4,700 hours flying including the C-47, C-46, B-24, B-26, B-45, T-33 and T-39 aircraft. His military decorations include the Legion of Merit (twice), Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal (three times), and the Air Force Commendation Medal. He retired in 1977 after serving as the base commander of Kelly AFB, Texas. They moved to Seattle, San Diego, and finally to Salt Lake City, Utah to be with family.
In 1951 Myron married Amanda Gwen Brown of Salt Lake City. He was forever grateful for the love and support she provided. Marginal living conditions, possible emergency evacuations, long separations, and family medical problems could be a challenge for the strongest. She more than met the test. She was a perfect partner during their marriage of 62 years.
They have two boys; Bradley Gene (Nancy) and Jeffrey Glenn; and one daughter, Darcy Gwen Papenfuss (Tim) and three grandsons; Cameron, Colby and Jordan Papenfuss. Colonel Smith has two brothers, Richard (deceased) (Patt), James (deceased) (Yelva) and sisters; Marilyn Hicks (Harry); Donna Waters (Dean), and Dorothy Hunsaker (Greg).
A funeral service will be held at 1:30 pm Wednesday, November 27, 2013 at Lindquist's Bountiful Mortuary, 727 N. 400 E. where friends may call from 12:30 - 1:15 pm. Interment Bountiful City Cemetery. Instead of flowers, Myron would appreciate donations to disabled vet organizations.
Condolences may be shared at www.lindquistmortuary.com
Published in Deseret News on Nov. 26, 2013