Conrad Smitt (07/17/1914 - 05/17/2011)

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(Age 96)

Conrad Smitt passed away on Tuesday, May 17, 2011 at Manor Care in Spokane, WA. Seven weeks ago he was diagnosed with a brain tumor and moved to the nursing home, where he received excellent care. Conrad was born on July 17, 1914, in Choteau, Montana, to Dutch immigrant parents, Conrad and Gertrude Smitt. When he was nine, the family moved to Spokane. He graduated from Lewis and Clark High School, Spokane, and Coyne Electrical School, Chicago, IL. During World War II, Conrad served in the Navy. As Chief Petty Officer he taught gyrocompass in New York City. In 1943, while he was stationed in Daytona Beach, Florida, he married his Spokane sweetheart, Vanera Shaw. Conrad had a 40-year career working for the Washington Water Power Company (Avista). As assistant superintendent of construction and maintenance, he was on call 24/7. He was the one responsible to restore power after emergency outages. After retiring in 1976, Conrad became a Christmas tree farmer. He was still planting trees at 90! He loved being outdoors and spent many happy days on his tree farm in Clayton and at the family cabin on Loon Lake. He will be remembered for his strong work ethic and his quiet sense of humor. Conrad is preceded in death by his wife Vanera, his sister Anna C. Smitt, brother J. William Smitt, and his sister Katie Pottratz. He is survived by his son Gary C. Smitt (wife Donna) of Kennewick; daughter Vivian J. Smitt of Spokane; and niece Juliann Smitt of Pullman. At his request, no service will be held. Donations may be made to Conrad's favorite charities: USO, PO Box 96860, Washington, DC 20077-7677 or American Red Cross, 315 W. Nora Ave., Spokane, WA 99205. RIPLINGER FUNERAL HOME & CREMATORY, 4305 N. DIVISION, SPOKANE. Online guestbook at

Published in Spokesman-Review from May 19 to May 20, 2011
bullet U.S. Navy bullet World War II
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