Richard Smith

Obituary of Richard H. Smith

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Richard H. ("Dick") Smith, Sr., 92, of Big Flats, NY, passed away on Friday, July 9, 2021, surrounded by members of his loving family. He is survived by his wife of 71 years, Mary Frances (Spallone) Smith. He is also survived by his ten children, Stephen (Amy) Smith, David (Julie) Smith, Kathleen (James) Leonard, Susan Louiz, Richard H. Smith, Jr., Deborah (John) Dutko, Gregory Smith, MaryBeth (Paul) Then, Samuel (Lorraine) Smith, and Julianne (William) Baldwin, as well as 42 grandchildren and 64 great-grandchildren (and counting). Dick was born to Harry and Emma Smith in Elmira, NY, on October 23, 1928. One of seven children, he is survived by his brother Gary Smith and sisters Loretta Beebe and Nancy Drake. After graduating from Corning Northside High School, Dick enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, receiving an honorable discharge in 1948 and returning home to start a 28-year career at the American Bridge Division of U.S. Steel in Elmira Heights, NY. That same year, he had a blind date with Elmira native Mary Frances Spallone. The romance blossomed, they were married on February 4, 1950, and they proceeded to have and raise their ten children in Big Flats. Dick started at American Bridge as a welder and moved up over the years to finally serve as the Plant Manager. Despite his growing family and job responsibilities, Dick also made time to coach his children's Little League Baseball and Small Fry Football teams. After retiring from American Bridge, Dick went to work as a Senior Project Manager for Oxhandler Associates in New Jersey. Among his many accomplishments was taking over the construction of the Olympic Ice Stadium in Lake Placid, NY. When Dick arrived on the scene, the project was way behind schedule; but he completed the venture on schedule and in time for the U.S. Hockey Team's gold medal triumph in the 1980 Olympics. Dick held several patents and founded Rith Associates and Universal Spiralweld Enterprises, Inc., two businesses that he ran out of his home and the shop he built on the family property in Big Flats. He also converted his father's barn into The Gathering Place, a venue large enough to accommodate his growing family's many parties, Holiday dinners, birthdays, and other celebrations. Dick and his family were long-time parishioners of St. Mary Our Mother parish in Horseheads, NY, and later attended St. Mary's Church in Corning. In one of many moving tributes written by his family, one of his granddaughters wrote, "Legacy is not leaving something for people, it's leaving something in people. We were so blessed to have him as our leading example of Family, Faith, and Fun." In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Dick's memory to All Saints Parish, 155 State Street, Corning, NY 14830, or St. Mary Our Mother Church, 816 West Broad Street, Horseheads, NY 14845.
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Friday
23
July

Funeral Service

10:00 am
Friday, July 23, 2021
St. Mary's Church
155 State Street
Corning, New York, United States

Final Resting Place

Rural Home Cemetery
Big Flats New York
Big Flats, New York, United States
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