July 17, 1921 - August 13, 2013
After a long, full life, Gene died peacefully at the age of 92. He is preceded in death by his loving wife Elaine A. Smith and his son Scott D. Smith and is survived by his children Sylvia, Peter, Randy and Mark and 8 grandchildren. Gene was a resident of Santa Barbara for 46 years and, before retiring, was an Electrical Engineer at General Research Corporation.
Born in Jackson, Missouri, he graduated from the University of Missouri at Rolla, then enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served as an Officer on the aircraft carrier USS Princeton during World War II. After the war, Gene attended M.I.T. and earned an advanced degree in Electrical Engineering, becoming an expert in radar systems. His proudest job accomplishments were working as a technical advisor on the Surveyor moon project and on the nuclear disarmament talks which led to the SALT treaty. He was also awarded a fellowship to serve as a scientific advisor to the U.S. Senate.
Gene and Elaine spent their retirement years traveling throughout the world and enjoying their grandchildren. Their love of the Gaviota Coast and the Sierra Nevada Mountains led to their interest in preserving land for future generations to enjoy. They made a significant contribution to the Trust for Public Land which led to the acquisition of a pristine waterway in the Tahoe National Forest and helped fund the Ocean Meadows restoration in Goleta. Gene and Elaine's philanthropy also included establishing the Scott D. Smith Memorial Fund for colon cancer screening at the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara in honor of their son. Gene most recently established an Alzheimer's disease research chair at UCLA in honor of Elaine.
Gene was a devoted husband and loving father. He was an exemplary role model to his family and community and left a lasting legacy.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Trust for Public Land, 101 Montgomery Street, Suite 900, San Francisco, CA 94104. The family will celebrate his life at a later date.
Arrangements entrusted to McDermott-Crockett Mortuary