PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- The Smithers family mourns the loss of Theodore (Ted) Smithers, formerly of Hudson and Aurora, Ohio, who passed away at his home on March 28, 2012, at the age of 88. The son of floral foam inventor V. L. Smithers, Ted Smithers was integral in growing the Smithers-Oasis Company, Kent, Ohio, into a world-class operation distributing OASIS® branded products to florists around the globe.|
Before Ted began his career, he was a decorated World War II veteran who landed in Europe on D-Day. By the time he completed his military service, he was a captain with four Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star and a Silver Star. He recently published a book recounting his military service, Lucky to be Here, Stories from WWII.
Ted's business life began upon returning from the war. He held a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue University and started his career with Goodyear Aircraft, where he was in charge of a specialized engineering group. By the late 1950s, Ted joined the company founded by his father, V. L. Smithers, who changed the floral industry when he invented OASIS® floral foam in 1954.
Additionally, Ted and his wife, Linda, formed and built Susan's Coffee and Tea; a local specialty coffee roasting and retail chain in the Akron, Ohio area.
Ted is survived by his beloved wife, Linda; son, Larry (Ruth) Smithers; grandchildren, Rachel (Dana) Bongle and Brandon (Bethany) Smithers; and great-grand-children, Jackson and Audrey Bongle. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Susan Smithers; brothers, Robert (R.L.) and William; wife, Nancy Ellis Smithers; and parents, Helene and V. L. Smithers.
Smithers-Oasis would like to extend an invitation to Ted's family, friends and colleagues to join us for a "Celebration of Life" to be held on Monday, May 21, 2012, at 2 p.m. at Smithers-Oasis North America, 919 Marvin Street, Kent, OH 44240. For more information, please call (330) 945-5100 or go to our web site page: www.oasisfloral.com/ted.
Published in Akron Beacon Journal on May 6, 2012