URBANA - Gordon John Smith, 84, a British Army veteran, life member British Legion, Northampton Post and American Legion Post #120, Urbana, Ohio, past Master of Veterans Ceremonies at Urbana Oak Dale Cemetery, passed peacefully on Wednesday, November 20, 2013.
He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Marion, and brother, Terry. He is survived by sisters, Sally (Wag) Westley of Northampton, England, Shirley Hamson of Northampton, England; children, David (Josie) Smith of Carmichael, California, Cheryl (Gary) Church of Springfield, Ohio, Jeanne (Richard) Fritz of Urbana, Ohio; five grandsons, John Byrd, Matt Bryd, Ronnie (Gabrielle) Fritz, Andrew (Kendal) Fritz, Aren Smith, and great-granddaughter, Harlow Fritz.
He was born in Northampton, England, on February 14, 1929, a Valentine baby for his mother, Violet Elizabeth. He left school and went to work at 14 in a munitions factory during WWII and joined the Army at 18. He provided for his family and shared with his friends. He loved racing motorcycles in his youth and had a lifelong hobby of fixing anything mechanical. He emigrated to the United States in 1965 and settled in Springfield, Ohio, working at Kelsey-Hayes, Towler Hydraulics and finally retiring at 65 from Met Life Insurance.
He enjoyed gardening, Nascar, golf, and travel in his retirement years, visiting family and friends in England, New York, Georgia, Texas, Arizona, California and Hawaii.
He gave a valiant effort to recover from a major stroke two years ago and his family wants to thank the staff, nurses and doctors at Sterling House, McAuley Center and Hospice for their compassionate care in his final months.
A private service will be held at the convenience of the family. Services have been entrusted to VERNON FUNERAL HOME, Urbana. Gordon wanted all remembrances made to the American Legion Pearce Kerns Post #120, 414 N. Main St., Urbana, OH 43078. Condolences may be expressed to the family at www.vernonfh.com.