Friday, March 29th, 2024
Gene Smith
Gene Edward Smith, 99, of Ada Ohio, died peacefully at home surrounded by his family on March 27, 2024. He was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather with a generous spirit who always looked for the best in people.
Gene was the second youngest of 10 children of Edward and Maude Smith, born October 29, 1924, in Coldwater, Ohio, and was the last surviving child. He married Loralee Stiefelmayer on April 14, 1951 in Dayton, Ohio.
Gene was preceded in death by his wife of 72 years, Loralee.
He is survived by his children Brenda of Columbus; Wade of Dayton; Sheila (Rob) Day of London, England; and Sylvia (Todd) Newman of Columbus; along with three granddaughters, Katie, Hannah and Sophie Day. Also surviving are his sisters-in-law Anna Marie (Ralph) Reboulet, Katherine Stiefelmayer and his numerous nieces and nephews.
Preceding him in death are his brothers Bertram, Wilfred, Roger, infant brothers Lowell, Jacob, and Malcolm, and sisters Hildred, Alice, and Mary and his brother-in-law Eugen Steifelmayer and infant sister-in-law Anna Marie.
As a WWII veteran, Gene received specialist training near Oxford, England for message coding before landing on Utah Beach on D-Day +3 as part of Operation Overlord in France. His stories of the war gave a vivid personal account of the human connections with his fellow soldiers, as well as with the civilians he met as they moved across Europe.
Prior to the war, Gene graduated from Coldwater High School. Following the war, he attended Miami Jacobs College to study business in Dayton where he met the love of his life, Loralee. They were married in Dayton 72 years ago. Anyone who saw them together saw the love in their eyes as they looked at each other.
They began their life together in Coldwater, Ohio where Gene worked in advertising and sales for Avco New Idea. They lived there and started their family until moving to Ada, Ohio in 1967. He later joined Proctor and Gamble where he worked in sales for 20 years until he retired.
Gene was active in many organizations over the years. While in Coldwater he was active in the VFW, played on a softball team and bowling team, and he coached Little League. He was an avid supporter of the Cincinnati Reds. He shared his love of sports, playing pitch and catch and "pickle" with his children, then with his grandchildren. In Coldwater, Gene and Lora spent many Saturday nights dancing, and in Ada they took up dancing with the Hix-n-Chix Square Dance Club. Gene had a strong faith and was an active member of the Ada United Methodist Church.
Gene and Lora shared a love of travel participating in several organized excursions. They traveled regularly to Kiawah Island, S.C. and London, England to visit their grandchildren.
Gene stayed active as he grew older, walking daily with Lora, and he continued on an indoor bike until he was 97 years old. He stayed young at heart, and he was 97 years old when he said, "I think I'm getting old."
He will always be loved and dearly missed. However, we will all be comforted with our wonderful memories and knowing that Mom and Dad are together again.
Funeral services will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 2, 2024 at First United Methodist Church, 301 N. Main Street, Ada, Ohio 45810 with Rev. Brandi Rigsby officiating. Burial will be held following the funeral service beginning at 2:30 p.m. in Swamp College Cemetery, Celina, Ohio with graveside military honors conducted by the U.S. Army Honor Guard.
Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Monday, April 1, 2024 at Hanson-Neely-Allison Funeral & Cremation Services, Ada and one hour prior to the service at the church on Tuesday.
Memorial contributions may be made to the First United Methodist Church, 301 N. Main Street, Ada, Ohio 45810.
Condolences may be expressed at
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