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Smith, Thomas – Obituary

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Elgin, Oregon
Aug. 9 — Thomas Smith, memorial service, 1 p.m., United Methodist Church, Elgin

The Observer – August 4, 2008

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Thomas Ira Smith, 93, of McMinnville and formerly of Elgin, died July 10 in McMinnville. Memorial services will begin at 1 p.m. Aug. 9 at the United Methodist Church at Fifth and Birch Street in Elgin. Autumn Crematorium in Tigard was in charge of arrangements.

Tom was born Sept. 22, 1914, to Ira Arthur and Henrietta Esther (Cruikshank) Smith in Gridley, Calif. The family soon moved to Elgin where Tom graduated from Elgin High School in 1932. Joining the Navy in November 1941, Tom served on a destroyer in the Pacific Ocean for the next four years. Tom reached the rate of chief petty officer before being discharged in November 1945. While on leave, he and Orlena Belle Roberts married in La Grande on March 17, 1945. They moved to San Diego for the balance of Tom’s enlistment.

The couple moved to Pendleton, living there from 1945 to 1956. They moved their family to Halfway until 1960. Eventually settling in Ontario, they raised four children while running the family electrical business.

Tom enjoyed hunting, camping and spending time with his wife and children in the outdoors. He learned to fly small aircraft. He and Orlena would fly back and forth visiting their children while they attended colleges in Eugene and Corvallis. They would frequently fly to McCall, Idaho, just for Sunday breakfasts. They also enjoyed traveling by car, exploring back roads throughout the western United States. He was a 50-year member of the Masonic Lodge in Ontario and a longtime supporter of the Shriner’s Children’s Hospital. In later years he was an avid reader, kept well supplied in books by his children.

Tom is survived by his children, Ira T. Smith of McMinnville, Robert J. Smith of Eugene, Ellen K. Fletcher of North Bend, Wash., and George W. Smith of Seneca, S.C.; sister, Marie Blanchard of Portland; brother, George Smith of Elgin; and six grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife of 59 years, Orlena Belle Smith.

The Observer – August 2, 2008

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