George L. Smith, 81, of Bellevue, passed away Tuesday, June 10, 2014, at his home.
He was born Aug. 19, 1932, in Clyde, son of the late George H. and Catherine A. (DeVanney) Smith. He spent his childhood in Clyde and Columbus, and also Louisville, Ky. He attended Clyde and Fremont St. Joseph High School.
Following high school he enlisted in the U.S. Army and was sent to Medical School at Brooke General Hospital in San Antonio. Following his time in Texas, he spent time in California before being briefly stationed in Guam and Okinawa. When the Korean War started, he served as a medic.
While overseas, he started a pen pal relationship with Jean M. Hagerty, of Fremont. Following his tour of duty, they married Aug.2, 1952, and moved to Kentucky until he was honorably discharged.
In 1953 they moved to Bellevue and he was employed by Columbia Gas. George and his wife opened a photography studio and operated it for 20 years. After semi-retiring from Columbia Gas, he worked as office manager with ODOT until his full retirement.
George was very involved in the city services of Bellevue. He served six years on the Bellevue Volunteer Fire Department, charter vice-president of the Cherry Festival, president of the Bellevue Jaycees and also the Bellevue Booster Club. He then became involved in local politics. After serving as 2nd Ward Councilman, he was elected president of Council and then elected Mayor of Bellevue.
He and his wife then moved to Florida where he operated a transportation service for six funeral homes. Because of missing their family and health reasons, George and Jean returned home to Bellevue after 10 years.
His passion was visiting family plots and national cemeteries including pet cemeteries all throughout the states, Ireland, Mexico and Hawaii. At one time he could tell you where everyone was buried in Bellevue Cemetery.
George is survived by his wife of 61 years, Jean (Hagerty) Smith; five sons and two daughters, Stephen, of Cincinnati, Stanley (Pam), Brent and Kelly (Bill) Baptista, all of Bellevue, Daniel, of Sandusky, Patrick, of Clyde, and Colleen (Larry) Renwand, of Norwalk. Also surviving are 16 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren with three on the way; and brothers, John (Rita), of Louisville, Ky., Thomas (Pierette), of Davenport, Fla.; and a sister, Sally Scranton, of Chippewa Lake, Ohio.
He is preceded in death by a son, David, and his parents, .
George enjoyed family gatherings and visits from his grand puppies. He also enjoyed working cross word puzzles and telling stories.
Friends will be received 3-7 p.m. Friday, June 13, at Foos & Foos Funeral Service, 151 Yorkshire Place, Bellevue, where the Rosary will be recited at 2:30 p.m. A funeral Mass will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 14, at Immaculate Conception Church, 231 E. Center St., Bellevue. Burial and military honors will be at a later date.
George considered himself a common fella and requested that anyone visiting would just wear casual attire. Memorials can be made in George’s honor to Back to the Wild or the Bellevue Catholic Cemetery Capital Improvement Fund.
Memories and condolences may be shared at foosfuneral.com.