DELPHOS — Howard James "Smitty the Cop" Smith, 87, died at 10 a.m. Dec. 30, 2013, at Van Wert Manor Nursing Home, Van Wert.
He was born June 18, 1926, in Jenera to Oliver H. Smith and Mary R. Smith Smith Hole, who preceded him in death. On July 25, 1945, he married Dorothy Weaver, who died June 6, 2008.
Mr. Smith had been on the Delphos Police Department from 1964 to 1981, and retired in 1981 as a general inspector from Lima Locomotive Works/Clark Equipment. In June 1991, he retired as chief of police for Marion Township. He had also been a deputy with the Allen County Sheriff's Office. He was an Army veteran of World War II serving with the 377th Regiment, 95th Infantry, Third Army from 1944 to 1946, where he earned two major battle companies, Rhineland and Central Europe. He received two major battle stars, a combat badge and a Bronze Star.
He was a life member of the National Rifle Association, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3035, American Legion Post 268, PERI and Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie 471. He was a member of the Black Swamp Rifle & Pistol Club, Delphos, and the Buckeye Sheriff's Association. He loved tent camping with his children and enjoyed target shooting, feeding birds and squirrels, and sitting on his porch greeting people. He was a people person and truly enjoyed his time as a police officer for the city of Delphos.
Survivors include two sons, Howard J. Smith Jr., of Gomer, and David M. Smith, of Delphos; two daughters, Susan J. (Larry) Basinger, of Delphos, and Dorothy J. (Rick) Lockhart, of Columbus; seven sisters, Sally Bohn, of Defiance, Isabel Kramer, of Fort Jennings, Shirley Perrin, of Ossian, Ind., Nancy Rayle, of St. Joe, Ind., Mary (Bob) Sailer, of Hicksville, Virginia (Larry) Clark, of Lima, and Kathy (Kurt) Martin, of Delphos; five brothers, Don (Donna) Smith, of Lima, Oliver (Marilyn) Smith, of Ada, Jack (Bonnie) Smith, of Ossian, Ind., Thomas (Marlene) Smith, of Augusta, Ga., and John (Deb) Smith, of Mendon; and 14 grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by a son, John Smith; a daughter, Sheryl L. Campbell; and a sister, Carol King.
Services will begin at 11 a.m. Friday at Harter & Schier Funeral Home, Delphos, with military rites by the Delphos Veterans Council. The Rev. Pam King will officiate. Burial will be in Walnut Grove Cemetery, Delphos.
Friends may call from 2 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home.
Memorial contributions may be made to the family.
Condolences may be expressed at harterandschier.com.