Gary L. Smith, 62, of Mechanicsburg, formerly of Natrona Heights, passed away peacefully Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012, in Hershey Medical Center with family at his side following a courageous and valiant battle against cancer. He was born May 6, 1949, in Natrona Heights, a son of Jean Groves Smith and the late Kirk E. Smith. Gary graduated from Har-Brack High School in 1967, Penn State with a Bachelor of Science in agriculture and then later with a Bachelor of Science in chemistry. He also received a master's degree in wildlife biology from Humboldt University, Arcadia, Calif. Gary attained his Eagle Scout in 1966. He was laboratory chief of the Army Petroleum Center, New Cumberland Army Depot, New Cumberland, Pa. from 1983 to 2003. He relocated to Washington D.C. and was laboratory supervisor and chemist for the Army Petroleum Center, at Fort Belvoir, Va., from 2003 until his retirement in July 2011. Gary enjoyed gardening, hunting, trout and fly fishing, hiking and spending time with his family and beloved dog, the late Nakija. He is survived by his three sons, Tye (Linda) Smith, of Newville, Pa., Jason Smith, of Carlisle, Pa., and Adam Smith, of Boiling Springs, Pa.; brother, Kokey (Cindy) Smith, of Greenville, Pa.; sister, Barbara (Rich) Balash, of Natrona Heights; niece, Heather Hansen, of Natrona Heights; and several grandchildren in Newville. Gary was preceded in death by his father, Kirk E. Smith, who died in 1995. Burial will be private. Cremation arrangements by HETRICK FUNERAL HOME, 3125 Walnut St., Harrisburg, 717-545-3774. The family suggests contributions to Animal Protectors of New Kensington, 533 Linden Ave., New Kensington, PA 15068, 724-339-7388, "In Memory of Gary L. Smith."
Published by The Valley News Dispatch on Jan. 8, 2012.