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Roland Benjamin Smith


1918 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
Roland Benjamin Smith Obituary
Roland Benjamin Smith

September 18, 1918 – April 27, 2015

Roland B. Smith (Smitty) was born in Wausau, Wisconsin to Levi Smith and Ida Smith (Ehricke).
Smitty enjoyed a bowl of ice cream with toppings or a dessert almost every day of his life and he lived to be 97! He did not have time for complaining; worked hard, loved to flirt with the ladies and was happy to give you his opinion on just about anything especially politics. His great sense of humor stayed with him to the very end. He lived a full life.
After serving his country for 20 years, Smitty retired as a CPO from the Navy in 1957. He served on numerous ships including the USS Arizona from 1937 to 1941. He was transferred off the USS Arizona 6 months prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor.
He received a BA degree from San Diego State in 1963 in Industrial Arts and taught at South High School in Torrance, California until 1977.
A dream was fulfilled when he and his wife Louise designed and built by hand their retirement home in Willits, California. To quote Smitty, "Those were the best years of my life."
As a widower, he relocated to the Naval Retirement Home in Gulfport, Mississippi in 1993. Being back in the Military environment with likeminded men and women was a pleasure for him. He was an avid cribbage and Bridge player and taught many seniors to play. He went on several Elderhostel "Educational vacations" meeting some great people. He also built and flew model airplanes, played pool and volunteered at the local grade school.
After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Smitty relocated to Bend, Oregon via Washington DC to be with two of his daughters until his passing.
Roland is survived by his son, Gerald F. Smith of Santa Monica, California, his daughters, Paula M. Thomas of Bend, Oregon and Patricia A. Masters of Valdez, Alaska, 9 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife Margaret Mary Smith (Casey), mother of his 4 children and wife Mary Louise Smith (Loomis), his daughter Noell J. Paul and a grandson, Casey Smith.
To paraphrase Tom Brokaw, Smitty was from the "Greatest Generation any society has produced". They had Common Values, sense of Duty, Honor, and love of Country, Personal Responsibility, Strong Marriage vows and Faith. It is a generation we will never forget and can never thank enough. This is the legacy he leaves to us his family and his Country.
A memorial will be held in Willits, California this coming summer of 2015. Please sign the guestbook at www.dailybreeze.com/obits.
Published in Daily Breeze on June 28, 2015
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