Howard J. Smith, Jr. 92, of West Burlington, PA, passed away on Sunday, December 6, 2020 at the Robert Packer Hospital. He was the loving husband of Olynda A. (Chaffee) Smith. The couple married October 25, 1959 and had 61 happy years together.
Howard was born on October 23, 1928 in Troy, PA, son of the late Howard J. and Eleanor (Rockwell) Smith, Sr. He graduated from Troy High School in 1946 and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Commerce and Finance from Bucknell University in 1950. Howard entered the U. S. Army by draft in 1950 and received a commission upon completion of Officer Candidate School in 1951. He served in Korea until separation from active duty in 1953 and received a battalion commander's letter of commendation for performance as a platoon leader of the "Best Platoon in the Battalion." Howard continued to serve actively for 21years in the United States Army Reserve until retirement in 1975, with the rank of Major. The last four years were served on the commanding general's staff of the 77th United States Army Reserve Command.
Following active military service, Howard was employed for six years by GTE, Sylvania as secretary of the divisional suggestion system. Since 1961, he was self-employed as a district sales manager and personal financial advisor with American Express Financial Advisors Inc., now Ameriprise Financial until retirement in 2006 after 45 years.
Howard served as a township supervisor and president of Western Bradford County Council of Governments. He served over 20 years as a member of the executive board of the Bradford County Republican Party and was involved in the leadership electing Senator Roger Madigan and Representative Matt Baker. He was a member of the Bradford County Library board of trustees for 16 years. Howard was a member and past master of the local subordinate Grange and was instrumental in organizing a "West Burlington Neighborhood Day," which received a state grange award for community service and was an annual event for several years.
He was a member of United Methodist Church at West Burlington for 73 years having served as lay leader, Sunday school teacher, organizer of a Christian clown group, choir member, member of "Old Hims" quartet and chairman of the church council. After a 35-year absence, he was successful in bringing sheep back to the Troy Fair and initiated the development of Sheep and Wool Day. Howard was a member of various Masonic bodies and past president of the Bradford County Shrine Club. He was a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion. Howard was a former tutor for the Bradford County Literacy Program at the Bradford County Correctional Facility.
He spent 30 years as a member of Mansfield University Council of Trustees, serving 12 years as a member of the executive board of the state association of trustees of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and two years as president of that group. Howard was awarded the Eberle Award for Volunteerism at Mansfield University in 2000 by the State System of Higher Education. He was a Trustee for Guthrie Healthcare System and Martha Lloyd Community Services, Inc. and was a board member of Community Foundation for the Twin Tiers. Howard received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Troy High School Foundation in 2009. His hobbies included golfing once a week -April through October, caring for a small flock of sheep, volunteering once each week at Bradford County Manor, taking the occasional family vacation, and accompanying the Mansfield University Concert Choir on all six of their triennial European tours.
Howard is survived by his loving wife Olynda, his children Cynthia and Dr. Burdett Porter of South Waverly, PA, and Curtis H. and Kim Smith of Lewisburg, PA, his grandchildren: Elizabeth Porter, Dr. Alexander Porter, Katherine Porter, Meghan Smith, and Matthew Smith, his brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law Olyn and Maralee Chaffee and Lynmar and Linda Chaffee, nephew Greg (Marie) Wood along with other nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister Marletta S. Wood Edsell.
Due to Covid-19 the funeral service to honor Howard’s life will be private but will be broadcast on the Vickery Funeral & Cremation Services, Inc. Facebook page on Saturday, December 12, 2020 at 1:00 PM. Howard’s family is planning a public memorial service at a later time.
The family greatly appreciates the compassion and heroism of the hospital staff who cared for Howard at Robert Packer Hospital.
Memorial contributions may be made in Howard’s memory to the West Burlington United Methodist Church c/o June Atherton P.O. Box 6 Burlington, PA 18814; Mansfield University 31 South Academy St. Mansfield, PA 16933; Bradford County Library 16093 Route 6 Troy, PA 16947; Martha Lloyd Community Services 66 Lloyd Lane Troy, PA 16947; or Guthrie Health Services 1 Guthrie Square Sayre, PA 18840.
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