With a song on his lips and strong in his faith, Paul Thompson Smith - "Smitty" - took off on his next mission, Friday, Oct. 3, 2014, having served this life well and eager to join his "Rosie," who preceded him in death on May 28, 2005. An early Christmas gift, Paul was born Dec. 21, 1920 to Ernest & Laurena Smith and grew up in South Windham, Maine, excelling in academics, performing arts and athletics. At the onset of WWII, he left Bates College to become an Army Air Corps pilot flying B-29s. Based in Macon, Ga., he met Rosemary Thrash and they married Sept. 20, 1944. Paul worked in South Carolina and Florida before becoming an air traffic controller in Miami and making Hollywood home. They were always active in the Lutheran church. Paul sang in the choir, often as a soloist. In his final years at Independence Hall in Wilton Manors, he was always ready with a song for his fellow residents. Paul is survived by Paul Jr. (Diane) of Boca Raton; Susy O'Day (Tom) of Wilton Manors; William (Jenny) of Loxahatchee; grandchildren Kirsten & Erik Smith, Brandon O'Day (Noelle) & Chelsea O'Day Holtfreter (George); Jason, Derek & Tyler Smith. Great grandchildren: Hallee Smith; Ariel, Thomas, Jack & Rose Marie O'Day; Susan & Pierce Holtfreter. His life will be celebrated Saturday, Nov. 8 at 11 a.m. at Shepherd of the Coast Lutheran Church, 1901 E. Commercial Blvd. Fort Lauderdale. In his honor, gifts may be made to Shepherd of the Coast Church or Florida Singing Sons Boychoir, 1229 NE 37th St., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33334.
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Published by Sun-Sentinel on Nov. 4, 2014.