YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – W. Burton “Burt” Smith, 92, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, May 31, 2017 at his home in Youngstown, Ohio after a long and hard-fought battle with Parkinson’s disease.
Burt was born on August 19, 1924 in Jewell Ridge, Virginia, to Olive Mae and Wallace Lee Smith and was the oldest of 6 siblings.
He grew up during the Great Depression in Jewell Ridge, Virginia.
In 1942 he graduated from Richlands High School where he was a football star. His ability on the football field earned him several scholarship offers but with the outbreak of WWII he was called to serve the country.
In 1942 he enlisted in the U.S. Navy where he served in active combat as a torpedo man aboard a PT Boat in the South Pacific. This experience made him a fierce patriot and gave him a strong sense of gratitude for the freedoms we are afforded. After being honorably discharged in 1946 he attended Emory and Henry College and Virginia Tech, graduating in 1950 with a BS in Metallurgical Engineering. While attending college, he married M. Gay Harris of Abingdon, Virginia in 1948.
After graduation, he and his wife moved to Youngstown where he worked as a metallurgist with the Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company. He worked his way up to become the Manager of Quality Control for the J&L Steel Company. Most of his career was spent at the Briar Hill and Campbell works. He was a registered professional engineer in all 50 states, highly respected in his field and was one of the country’s leading experts in oil field products. During his career he became a distinguished member of the American Petroleum Institute, receiving that organization’s highest award. In addition he was an active member in the American Society of Metals, Society of Petroleum Engineers, American Iron and Steel Engineers and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and served as an advisor to the Engineering Department of YSU. He worked for 20 years after his retirement in 1985 as an independent consultant.
Burt believed in serving and helping others and was active in the community. He was a 32nd Degree Mason in the ancient Scottish Rite Tradition, served as an elder in the John Knox Presbyterian Church, was an active member of the VFW and a driver for the local Meals On Wheels program. In addition, he was a counselor of Small American Businesses.
Burt was an avid golfer, fisherman, hunter and antique car enthusiast. He is a past president of the Antique Car Club of America – Meander chapter. For 30 years he drove his 1930 Dodge in the Canfield 4th of July parade.
Burt was a loving and dedicated husband, father, grandfather, uncle and brother and would never hesitate to help a family member. No task was too large for him to tackle. He was committed to the ideals of producing quality products and hard work.
He is survived by his wife, Gay; son, Michael (Debbie); grandsons, Elliott (Kate Shanahan) and Robert and brother, Dale (Margarite) of Richlands, Virginia and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his sisters, Juanita Jesse and Roberta Hilton and his brothers, Harry Lee and Kenneth Smith.
Funeral services will be at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 3 at Vaschak-Kirila Funeral, 3100 Canfield Rd., Youngstown.
Friends may call 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. prior to the service.
It was Burt’s request that in lieu of flowers donations be made to Meals on Wheels, 1840 Market Street, Youngstown, Ohio or Ohio Living Hospice.
A television tribute will air Friday, June 2 at the following approximate times:
6:41 a.m. WYTV and 8:41 a.m. MyYTV and 9:58 a.m. on FOX plus two additional spots throughout the day.