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Wayne E. Smith, 88, of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, passed away on Friday, April 19, 2013 in the Jane Phillips Medical Center.
Services for Mr. Smith will be held on Tuesday, April 23, 2:00 p.m. in the Arnold Moore & Neekamp Funeral Home Chapel with Pastor Gary Gibson officiating. Interment will follow in Memorial Park Cemetery with full military honors.
Wayne Edward Smith was born February 22, 1925 in Bartlesville. He was the son of Ralph Clark Smith, Sr. and Wilda Sayres McDowell Smith. He was raised in Bartlesville where he received his formal education.
At the age of 17, Wayne enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps in the Aviation Cadet Program. He was called to active duty when he became 18. He then trained as a navigator and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant. Wayne then joined the 8th Air Force, 493rd bomb group. Based in England, he completed 35 missions in B-24s and B-17s.
Wayne was a career military man. In Korea, he and two other crew members flew 55 missions in a B-26. He was also in SAC for several years. Wayne retired in 1979 as a Lt. Colonel.
Wayne was of the Lutheran faith. He was an outdoor person, having learned the art of grafting pecan trees. He trapped beaver and enjoyed fishing. He also enjoyed ballroom dancing. Above all, he was a good Christian.
Wayne was preceded in death by his parents and by his brother, Elbert Sayres Smith. He is survived by his very dear friend, Alice Gilbreath of Bartlesville; one sister, Aileen Bell and her husband, Roger of Tulsa, Oklahoma; one brother, Ralph Smith, Jr. also of Tulsa; two nephews, Greg Bell and his wife, Sherri of Cleburn, Texas and Clark Bell of Tulsa and a close, boyhood friend, Leonard Livingston. He is also survived by many friends of all ages.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the local Salvation Army or the SPCA.
Family will receive friends, Monday, April 22, 6-8 pm in the Arnold Moore & Neekamp Funeral Home, 710 S. Dewey, Bartlesville.
Arrangements are under the direction of Arnold Moore & Neekamp Funeral Home and online condolences may be left at www.honoringmemories.com.
Published in Examiner-Enterprise on Apr. 23, 2013