J. Kenneth “Kenny” Smith, 83, a longtime Halfway resident, died Nov. 13, 2005, at his home.
Interment will be at Pine Haven Cemetery in Halfway near his son, Paul Smith. A memorial service will be announced later.
Kenny was born on May 18, 1922, at Portland to Martin and Lydia Smith. He was raised at north Portland, graduating from Jefferson High School in June 1940. A week later, he joined the Oregon National Guard 41st Infantry Division and began his military tour of duty.
His division arrived in Australia in 1942 and participated in the New Guinea jungle campaign, where he was wounded in August 1943. Kenny was awarded the Purple Heart.
Shortly after his July 1944 discharge from the service, he began working for the Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Co. in Portland. He installed residential phones and enjoyed playing third base on a TelCo softball team.
In 1945, Kenny traveled to install phones in Salem, Medford and Eugene, where he met Pauline Tower, who also worked for the telephone company. Kenny and Pauline were married in Eugene on June 15, 1946, and settled there to raise their family.
After Kenny’s retirement from the phone company in 1976, the couple moved to Halfway where they bought property and built a home at the corner of Fish Lake Road and Boulder Flat Lane.
Kenny was devoted to his family and raised his children to appreciate the outdoors through years of camping and fishing trips. He was proud to be a World War II veteran.
Kenny was a lifelong fisherman and butterfly collector. In retirement he made frequent trips around the state to add to his collection of Oregon butterflies, which included more than 200 species. He lacked fewer than 30 Oregon native species at the time of his death.
In addition to butterfly collecting, Kenny was an enthusiastic reader, solver of crossword puzzles, and baseball fan.
Survivors include his wife, Pauline of Halfway; daughters, Ellen Smith of Seattle and Lynne Smith of Halfway; daughter and son-in-law, Karen and David Andruss of Halfway; sons and daughters-in-law, Dain and Kathy Smith of Eugene, and Mark and Kathy Smith of Richland, Wash.; daughter-in-law, Terry Christman of Apache Junction, Ariz.; and his three grandsons, David Smith, Kenneth Smith and Matthew Smith.
He was preceded in death by his youngest son, Paul Smith.
Memorial contributions may be made to Pathway Hospice through Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.
Used with permission from: Baker City, Herald, November 18, 2005
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor