Ben J. Smith

Ben J. Smith

December 23, 1922 - October 5, 2013

Ben was the loving husband of Barbara Hooven Smith. They were married for 67 years.

Ben was born in Seattle to Genita and Ben Smith. He had two younger sisters, Sylvia and Barbara. He attended University Heights Elementary, Laurelhurst Elementary, Roosevelt High School, and the University of Washington; with dual degrees in Business and Accounting. He attended ROTC in college, and then Officers Candidate School in Texas, heading for the Army Air Corps in WWII. He was stationed in Benin, Brazil as a Provisions Officer; and traveled to North Africa and Casablanca for his job.

He met Army Nurse, Barbara Hooven, at Camp Lee, New Jersey. They were married at Camp Stoneman, San Francisco in 1945. Due to both being mustered out of the armed service, they moved immediately to Seattle.

Ben joined his father's new business venture, Seattle Mortgage Company, founded in 1944. In 1953, Ben and his father bought out the other partner; and began to expand the business. Ben's brother-in-law, Bob Story, joined the business in 1955. Ben took on the job of company President in 1970, with Bob Story as Vice President. Ben Sr. died in 1973. Ben retired in 1979, and Bob Story became President. Bob Story, and Ben's son Dave and other family members, continued to expand the company to become Seattle Financial Group.

Ben continued to be a booster of the wider Seattle real estate and business community. He was active in the US Mortgage Banking Association, Rotary, Seattle Chamber of Commerce, Puget Sound Blood Center, and People to People: cultural/business exchanges (10 trips abroad, including a visit to China in 1980). He and his wife were long time members of Saint Stevens Episcopal Church, Sand Point Country Club, Broadmoor Country Club, and were UW Husky football fans.

Ben and Barbara had three children. The family went on camping and ski trips with friends and their families, and took Puget Sound boating trips. Ben both water skied and snow skied into his 60's, and golfed into his 80's.

Ben is survived by two children, Robin Schmidt (Errol) and Rick Waltonsmith (Ann). Another son, Dave Smith is deceased (Sandee). He is survived by grandchildren, Darby Schmidt (Chris Thompson), Jake Schmidt (Celina), Casey Schmidt (Jennifer), Karen O'Brien (Mike), and Nathan Peabody; by great grand children, Colby Thompson, Maureen Thompson, Quinn Thompson, Dylan Schmidt, Hannah Schmidt, Simone Schmidt, Willow Schmidt, and Evan O'Brien. He is survived by his sister Sylvia Moran, his brother in law, Bob Story, his wife Ethel Story; and 7 nieces and nephews, and many grand nieces and nephews. His sister, Barbara Story, preceded him in death.

Donations in Ben's memory can be made to the Puget Sound Blood Center.

A reception to celebrate Ben's life will be held on the 15th floor at: Park Shore Retirement Center (Madison Park, foot of Madison Ave.)

1640 43rd Avenue East

Seattle, WA 98112

All are welcome from 2-4PM on November 24th.

Published in The Seattle Times from Oct. 17 to Oct. 20, 2013