September 13, 1936 - February 2, 2021
Leonard Smith, a boy at the time, sneaked into the basement of the Paramount Theatre during a production, found his way backstage, climbed up the catwalk, spotted his cousin and aunt in the audience, and then enjoyed the show from his perch. About 75 years later, on February 2, 2021, Len passed away peacefully, with his dog curled around his legs and his wife and kids by his side in his favorite place, his home on Camano Island. Always a free spirit, he looks down on us from a new perch, his body free as well.
The third Leonard Smith (and the only one with a middle name, Lee) was born on September 13, 1936 in the middle of the great depression in a house across from the Seattle Yacht club, delivered by his uncle, Dr. Carl Stomberg. He grew up in Seattle, living with a variety of relatives and claims to have developed a British accent as a child from living with his paternal grandmother.
Len was a rascal with the sparkly smile and a flare for the dramatic like his mother. His tumultuous childhood contributed to a complicated nature. At the age of 17, he joined the Navy and was stationed at Naval Air Station Quonset Point, Rhode Island, after boot camp at Sand Point Naval Air Station. He spoke fondly of traveling to places like Puerto Rico and Newfoundland while enlisted. His career included working at Boeing in the photography department during the lunar landing. He also worked in real estate and cars sales.
Len always had piles of books which he consumed voraciously and recalled easily. He also read three newspapers a day until his last few weeks. He dedicated years of his life campaigning to bring a library to Camano Island and served on the Friends of the Library board. Len loved to tell stories and shared a special bond with friends in his writing group, where he was first a participant and later a leader.
Raised with Airedales, Leonard always had a dog. He delighted in offering "cookies" to the neighborhood dogs who strolled past his home on their way to the beach. When Len could not easily navigate the stairs anymore, he was grateful that the dogs would meet him on his porch.
Len loved sports, especially his beloved Seahawks and Mariners and took his family to the very first Mariners game in the Kingdome. He liked to wager on games with his son and friends.
Leonard loved his family most of all. He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Sharon Smith; his daughter, Barbara Mondloch (Mark); son, David Smith (Rathmony); stepsons, Noel Schomber and Kenneth Schomber; grandkids, Megan Rupert, Andrew Rupert, Angelina Phaysith and Alex Sin; and sister, Judy Garrison. He was predeceased by his mother, Bernice Wallace, and son, Douglas Smith.
It was a privilege to see our dad living his best life in the months before his passing. He rallied with the care and attention of his family and caregivers. The family would like to thank Hospice of the Northwest who made it possible to grant his wish of being at home. He especially adored Reece and Linda, from Hospice, and Randy, from the VA, whose hearts he captured as well.
There will be a celebration of life, tentatively scheduled for June 19, at 1p.m. at the Camano Multi-Purpose Center. Donations in his name may be made to Hospice of the Northwest Foundation at [email protected]
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Published by Stanwood Camano News from Mar. 16 to Mar. 23, 2021.