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Charles H. Smith


1917 - 2014 Obituary Condolences
Charles H. Smith Obituary
Smith, Charles H. 01/12/1917 ~ 07/17/2014 BONITA -- Charles (Chuck) Smith passed away peacefully on July 17th at Sunrise of Bonita. Although born in Kentucky, and honored as a Kentucky Colonel, he moved with his family to San Diego at age 3. He attended San Diego High School and San Diego State College. He was an accomplished violinist and played in the San Diego Youth Symphony. At 17, he enlisted in the Navy serving on the USS Nevada and later the S-33 submarine at Pearl Harbor. Flying was a lifelong passion for Chuck. After becoming a pilot, he owned and flew Cessna and Bonanza airplanes. He was well known at Brown Field, owning a hangar there and hosting his flying friends' Saturday morning coffee for many years. He was a member of Quiet Birdmen and a founding member of the Flying Rotarians. When WWII began, he trained Army cadets in gliders, then Stearmans at Twenty Nine Palms, CA. Later he enlisted and served as a Flight Officer in the Army Transport Command stationed in Casablanca, Africa. Chuck met and married his love, Harriet J. Webb in 1943. They moved to Bonita in 1955 and raised their two sons there. Harriet shared his love of flying and also became a pilot. They shared many years of flying, traveling the world, meeting new friends and taking photographs. In 1951, Chuck graduated from Southern California College of Optometry. He and his partner of over 50 years, Dr. Alvin May, operated the first optometric practice in Chula Vista. Chuck was an active member of Chula Vista Rotary for 63 years serving as President in 1958-59. He was a true Rotarian in its ideal of 'Service Above Self.' Chuck was a man of integrity and dedication with a ready smile.He will be sorely missed. He was preceded in death (2003) by his wife, Harriet; survived by sons, Webb (Avalee), and Steve (Kathy); grandchildren, Tressa (Chris), Sean (Colleen) and Scott; and great- grandchildren, James, Alivia, and Andrew. The memorial service will be at Community Congregational Church, 276 F St, Chula Vista at 11a.m., on July 26th with reception following at Chula Vista Golf Course, 4475 Bonita Rd, Bonita. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Chula Vista Rotary Foundation.

Published in The San Diego Union Tribune on July 24, 2014
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