Leonard M. Smith
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Smith, Leonard M.
Leonard Mason Smith, 86, a veteran of World War II and Korea and longtime resident of Pine Island, Florida passed away on November 27th, 2013.
Leonard Smith was a very private man. If you wanted to know his cause of death, he would have told you that it was none of your business. If you asked Penny, his beloved wife, she would tell you that he had cancer, but not to tell anyone. Although his prognosis was dire, he battled on, lived his life and survived several years beyond the experts' expectations. He did not want his obituary to suggest that he lost a long battle with cancer. By his reckoning, cancer could not win, and could only hope for a draw. And so it was. Leonard Smith hated losing.
He was born to Leonard Henry Smith and Charlotte deCamp on July 20th, 1927 in New York City. As a young man he resided in New Rochelle, NY, where he attended the Iona School. He graduated from the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey, and then matriculated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was president of the Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity and earned an engineering degree. He joined the Army Air Corps after his first term at M.I.T., and attained the rank of colonel, but only on the telephone when facilitating personnel discharges and equipment requisitions. He was discharged as a private. After his graduation from M.I.T., he enlisted in the Air Force during the Korean War, and served in Japan and the Philippines. After the war, he began a career as a management executive. He worked for Bamberg Rayon Company, American Enka, Union Carbide, General Dynamics, Cognitronics and Computer Transceiver Systems Incorporated. By virtue of his education, training and temperament, his assignments tended to be companies and divisions that were experiencing financial or operational deficiencies. He liked the challenge.
He was married to Penelope Self on December 4, 1953 in Asheville, North Carolina. They were married for 58 years until her death in 2012. They raised five children together, living in New Rochelle and Greenwich, Connecticut. He enjoyed sailing and served as Commodore of the Shenorock Shore Club in Rye, NY. They also raised show and field Gordon Setters, of which he was very proud. After retirement, they resided in Asheville and Pine Island, where they were active with local church groups and charities.
He is survived by his sister, Charlen Banks (John) of Vero Beach, FL; his children: Penny Wilson (Chauncey) of Wayland, MA, Patricia Smith (Fred Bubernak) of Woodbridge, VA, Leonard M. Smith of Wilmington, NC, Scott Smith of Woodbridge, VA and J. Bradford Smith of Stamford, CT; and by his grandchildren: Michael Finger (Vanessa) of Portsmouth, NH and Samuel Bubernak of Woodbridge, VA.
Leonard Smith hated pointless bureaucracy, thoughtless inefficiency and bad ideas born of good intentions. He loved his wife, admired and respected his children and liked just about every dog he ever met. He will be greatly missed by those he loved and those who loved him. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you cancel your subscription to The New York Times.
Leonard Smith would have thought that this obituary was about three paragraphs too long.


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Published in Greenwich Time on Jan. 26, 2014.
Memories & Condolences
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28 entries
February 11, 2014
Brilliantly written, love it. I also share the piece on my social media circle. Wish Mr. Smith's surviving children and family members the best. You all did a great job. The country need more like you.
February 11, 2014
A well crafted obit for a well crafted life. Very well written.
Ben Fahlgren
February 11, 2014
I don't subscribe to the New York Times, but if I did I would cancel in HONOR of this wonderful man. Peace and blessings to his family. Please know that your loss is heavens gain. So sorry for your loss.
M. Cherep
February 10, 2014
Mr. Smith has a brilliant and witty writer in his family.
J Bryar
February 10, 2014
As a twenty something woman all I can say is I wish there were more guys like him around these days!
February 10, 2014
A great American. Not too many left. May you rest in peace.
Steve Young
February 9, 2014
Thank you, Leonard, for being such a wonderful man.
Krzysztof Ostaszewski
February 9, 2014
God Bless Mr. Smith. A real guy with real values, didn't know him but he sure
has touched me.
Michael Rae
February 6, 2014
The obit regarding mr.smith was great.he sounds like a wonderful man.I hate the new york times as well! Judge Gary Silow
February 5, 2014
What a remarkable man! He sounds like a restless soul with a vibrancy and valor all too rare in the world. Condolences. You must have many consoling memories of Mr./Col./Pvt. Smith.--Katherine, Philadelphia, PA
February 5, 2014
Sorry about yours loss but His Spirit will be present forever,despite I never meet Him but my respect to Him and his Family..JuneC.V.
June Vecino
February 4, 2014
I didn't know Leonard, but I agree with him that his obituary was too long, though I confess I can't imagine how it could have been shortened. I am cancelling my subscription to the New York Times as I write this.
David Brunton
February 4, 2014
As my late father used to say, "They don't make 'me like that anymore." Mores the pity. I will remember him at Mass tomorrow in the cathedral here in Monterey, Cakifornia
Fr Patrick. Dooling
February 3, 2014
It sounds like Mr. Smith was a great man. I wished I would have met him and I'm honored to have read his obituary.
M M
February 3, 2014
As with others I didn't know the man. Wish I had I can tell by the obit he was one of lifes greats.
Bryan Forsmann
February 2, 2014
I didn't know Leonard, but reading this, I truly wish I had. He seems like a really great man. I am sorry for your loss Penny.
Lisa T
February 2, 2014
Dear Smith family I am so very sorry for your loss .Mr Smith sounded like someone I would have loved.my sister lives in Fort Worth and post this to Facebook where I live in Missouri just love a great obituary and so wish that I had a subscription to The New York Times because I would certainly cancel it this morning for me his memory will live on because anytime anyone mentions the New York Times I will always smile and think of Mr Smith God's blessings to you all
L sparkman
February 2, 2014
With much respect and appreciation, for his service and his life.
Carol Mills
February 1, 2014
I did not know Mr Smith but believe I would have enjoyed knowing him very much. Prayers for his family and friends
Ruth Hallman Scogin
February 1, 2014
And if I had a subscription, I would cancel it. RIP Leonard M. Smith. What a great send off your obit gives you.
Lora-Marie
February 1, 2014
The Boys...
I'll keep it short in deference to him.

It distresses me that we seem to be losing so many like him, with no replacements on the horizon. Condolences and best wishes to his family...
J.D.
February 1, 2014
Such a wonderful obit, truly reflecting the man you all knew and loved. I've included a link to it in my blog, http://ninalentinislifewithoutend.blogspot.com/, where he is among fine company. Thanks for sharing about him!
January 31, 2014
Sounds like a great man with a great story.
Ryan P
January 31, 2014
I did not know Mr. Smith but upon reading his obituary I wish I had. I am sorry for your loss.
Pat Walker
January 30, 2014
I never had the pleasure of meeting Leonard Smith, but he sounds like a person I would have enjoyed knowing. I don't have a subscription to the NYT, but the next time they send me a subscription offer, I'll persuade my dogs to tear it to sheds, then I'll return it to the NYT in Mr. Smith's honor.
Cathy B.
January 28, 2014
What a guy!
January 27, 2014
I am so sorry for your loss. Please find peace and comfort in knowing God cares for you and will help you in your time of need. 1 Pet. 5:7.
JG
January 26, 2014
I have many fond memories of our neighbors, the Smiths. We rode horses and sailed. I'm sure he will be missed by all. We cancelled our NYT subscription years ago. Dee Silvi/Justus
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