Smith, Philip G.
Philip G. Smith, 65, of Land O' Lakes, died March 4, 2014, at the Wisconsin Veterans Home in King, WI. Phil was affectionately called "Doc" in recognition of his decorated service as a combat medic with the First AirCav Division of the United States Army in Vietnam.
Phil was born on April 8, 1948, in Appleton, the oldest of four children of Dean and Mayme (Brum) Smith. He graduated from Appleton's Xavier High School in 1966, and spent a year at St. Norbert Abbey in DePere. He was drafted by the Army in 1967, serving in Germany, then Vietnam. In Vietnam, he served with distinction. After surviving serious injury, he returned to Appleton in 1969.
He found his calling helping veterans with their adjustment back into civilian life. For 20 years, he served as the veterans' employment representative in the Menasha Job Service office with the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs and the State of Wisconsin Job Service. He worked selflessly to secure employment for veterans with employers in the Fox River Valley, whose respect he gained. His enthusiasm, caring, and innovative approach to helping veterans were recognized with numerous awards, commendations, and letters of appreciation.
During this period, Phil became actively involved in local Appleton and Wisconsin politics, assisting in a number of political campaigns.
Phil moved to Land O'Lakes in 1994. He purchased his piece of paradise on Palmer Lake. Here he sought peace and quiet. But his service did not end as he continued to help veterans in the area and participate in numerous community activities and charities. He loved the outdoors. He photographed nature, communed with the eagles, fished and hunted. His eagle pictures adorn many desks.
He will be dearly missed by his daughter, Cristina Marie Smith of Appleton; brothers, Robert (Jackie) Smith of Hortonville and Thomas F. (Mary) Smith of Greenville; sister, Mary Kay (Dan) Pennings of Cozumel, Mexico; and a special cousin and his family, Eugene M. (Susan) Clark, Jr. of Bettendorf, Iowa. Phil is also survived by nieces and nephews: Amy, Sara, Maureen, Dean, Andrea, Jamie, and Ben; other relatives and friends and his special dog, Annie.
Preceding him in death include his parents; paternal grandparents, Chester and Wilhelmina Smith; and maternal grandparents, Philip and Angeline Brum.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00AM on Saturday, March 29, 2014 at St. Bernard's Catholic Church, 1617 W. Pine St., Appleton, with Fr. Dennis Ryan officiating. Visitation will be held from 9:00 - 11:00AM at the church. Military honors will follow the service. Burial will be held at Riverside Cemetery in the spring. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established.
Maple Crest Funeral Home Inc
N2620 Hwy 22 Waupaca, WI 54981
Published in Appleton Post-Crescent on Mar. 9, 2014