George Roy Smith
George Roy Smith, 75, of Greenville, SC passed away peacefully in his sleep on January 25, 2014 at the McCall Hospice House.
Born in Fort Pierce Florida in 1938 to Dolly and Roy Smith, he spent his childhood between Electra, TX, Melbourne, FL, Moncks Corner and Pawley's Island, SC. He graduated high school in Georgetown, SC in 1958 and attended Clemson while it was still a segregated military school. After college, he joined his father on the Eastern Test Range (he called himself a "hairy-legged secretary") but quickly advanced to telemetry operation with Mission Control and tracking ships for the Apollo, Gemini and Mercury NASA missions. After the fire on the Apollo spacecraft in 1967, his ship was docked in Perth, Australia for two years. He then returned to the United States and became Assistant Base Manager on Ascension Island and quickly transferred to Grand Turk where he met his wife, Deborah—the daughter of the British Developments Officer and niece of the Island Administrator. He married in Hernhill, Kent in 1971 and was posted to Antigua for a year before returning to Patrick Air Force Base in Florida. He later moved to provide support services to Bangor Navy Submarine Base in Washington. In 1986, his family moved to Williamsburg, VA, but returned a year later to Bainbridge Island, WA. His family moved again to Greenville, SC after an interim year in Jacksonville, FL where he worked with Fluor Daniel and Day & Zimmerman Services. For the last few years, he has been writing contract bids for military support services from his home in Greenville.
He is survived by his wife Deborah of 42 years; his son, 1st Lt. Christopher Smith; and his daughter, Erin Smith.
Private graveside services will be followed by a memorial service with his friends in Florida in May.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in his name can be made to the Wounded Warriors Project, Open Arms Hospice or Animal Care of Greenville.
Published in The Greenville News on Jan. 29, 2014