Milton "Milt" Smith HAMPTON - Mr. Milt Smith, 89, of Helen Street in Hampton, died early Sunday morning, November 3, 2013, in the Hampton Regional Medical Center, after a sudden illness. Mr. Smith was born in Birmingham, Alabama, November 23, 1923, a son of the late Homewood, Alabama Police Chief
James Edward Smith and Elise Waller Smith. As a 5 year old child he was treated for Leukemia and was written up in the American Medical Association Journal for being the first child in the country to recover from the disease. He went on to live a full and extremely active life. Never a boastful man, he never the less served his country, company, family and community in many successful ways. He grew up on a farm in Homewood, Alabama, during the depression, and even as a small child got up at 5 a.m. very day, before school, to tend to the chickens. He became an early riser and hard worker for the rest of his life. He was skilled at mathematics and went to Auburn University at age 17. At age 18 he joined the Navy to proudly serve his country in World War II
, although he was underage and underweight. He had to get his mother's signature to go in, and had to eat 5 pounds of bananas to meet the minimum weight requirement. His math skills served him well as one of the best Navy Fighter Pilots and Navigators in the service. "Smitty" served on the U.S.S Wasp CV-18 Aircraft Carrier in the Americanas and over Japan, during WWII. He also served again in the Korean war
as a flight leader and instructor, in the first all-weather squadron in the world, and served proudly in the Navy for a total of 11 years. He married his childhood sweetheart after the war and they were married for 67 years. He finished college on the G.I. bill, joined Westinghouse Corp. after the war and served very successfully in the sales department of the same company for his entire career of 37 years, moving 21 times and becoming Sales Manager, Division Manager and Vice President in the process. He was always very personable, loved people and was a wonderful conversationalist and story-teller. He lived in the Hampton-Varnville area three different times for a total of 49 years. Even with all the moving, Milt and his family always thought of Hampton as home, and Milt stayed here even after he retired. After retirement, for another 25 years, he continued to serve his community proudly. He was an active member and served many leadership roles in the First Baptist Church, the Rotary Club
, American Legion Post #108, the S.C State Guard, and the Boy Scouts of America. He was honored with a leadership award by the Rotary, where he proudly served for decades. He helped run the Hampton County Watermelon Festival for 15+ years and was easily recognized by his hand made "watermelon" shoes. He was an active leader in the boy scouts not only in the Local Troop 664, but also at the county council commissioner level. He spent a decade or more helping to run the Clothes Closet Charity Outlet for his church. He was very active until two weeks ago when Leukemia struck again. Surviving are: his wife: Mrs. Flora Fuller Smith of Hampton; one son: Leigh Edward Smith and wife Donna of Marlton, New Jersey; two daughters: Muriel Trevari of Atlanta, and Mary Frances Ruppen and Husband Tom of South Park, Pennsylvania; grandsons: Jon Michael and David Edward Trevari, Christopher Francis, Daniel Patrick, Timothy Edward, and Matthew David Smith. Funeral Services will be 11 AM Friday in the Chapel of Peeples-Rhoden Funeral Home with burial in the Beaufort National Cemetery at 2 PM with Military Honors. Friends may call at the Chapel in Hampton located at 300 Mulberry Street West Friday morning prior to services., from 9-11 AM. For those who wish, online condolences may be left for the family by visiting the website at www.peeplesrhodenfuneralhome.com
. In view of flowers, donations may be sent to the Leukemia Society.