Harry Eugene (Smitty) Smith, passed away on November 22, 2013 in Pueblo. He was born here on May 10, 1923 to Harry C. and Edith Smith. At 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, and was assigned duty on the USS Ralph Talbot DD-390 where he obtained the rank of Machinist Mate Second Class (MM2). The destroyer was assigned to the Pacific Theater and engaged in several major battles in WWII in the South Pacific, including Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 and the battle of Midway on June 3, 1942. He was awarded 7 battle stars; the American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, WWII Victory Medal, and the Navy Good Conduct Medal. He returned to civilian life in 1945 and joined the City of Pueblo Fire Department where he retired as Captain after 32 years of service. In addition to his duties as Captain he traveled in the Southern Colorado region to instruct rural fire departments in firefighting and emergency response. In 1952, Gene owned and operated, “Gene Smith & Son’s Television Services,” which served the Pueblo Community until 1999. Due to his early enlistment to serve his country in 1940, School District 60 presented him with an honorary diploma from Central High School in 2003. He was an active member of the Pearl Harbor Survivor Association and the USS Ralph Talbot DD-390 Association. He is preceded in death by his parents; Beatrice Faucett Smith, wife of 34 years; Margery L. Simon, mother of his children; and his son Donnie. He is survived by - Harvey (Claudia) Smith, Diane Maria-Snyder, Jeannine T. (Jim) Dunaway, Leonard (Kim) Smith, Daniel (Kim) Smith, Patrick (Colleen) Smith, Martin (Terry) Smith, Marie (Joe) Fabjancic, Margaret Gorshe, and Richard (Kay) Faucett, 36 grandchildren, 65 great-grandchildren and 3 great-great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his cousins, Bill Stone and Kay Steinbeck of San Diego, CA, and brother-in-law, Donald Moylan. Gene was a loving husband, a great role model and devoted to his family; to his grandchildren he was affectionately known as ‘Papa’. Memorial service will be held on Saturday, Dec 7, 2013 at 11:00 AM in the Davis Memorial Chapel. Interment of his ashes will follow in the Roselawn Cemetery with military honors by the Pueblo Veterans Ritual Team. Online condolences at DavisMortuary.com.
Fair winds and following seas to a Pearl Harbor survivor, he got to see his ship one last time. People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because brave men stand ready to defend freedom on their behalf.