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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Glenn Wade Smith, 65, Gaines, PA

Glenn Wade Smith, 65. Glenn's spirit returned to God at 2:45 a.m. on Thursday 12.31.2009. He was at home (1153 Rt. 6, Gaines, PA 16921) with his wife, Julia; his step-daughter, Eliza; and dear friend, Allayne Bacon.

He was born in Gaines Township, Tioga County, PA on 03.19.1944, the third son of George E. and Violet June Peer Smith.

Glenn's parents; brother, Dennis Smith; and sister, Sally Smith Ayers preceded him in passing. In addition to his wife and step-daughter, Glenn is survived by his step-son, David Goodworth of Fredonia, NY; six step-grandchildren and five brothers, N. Eddie Smith (Judy) of Tioga, PA; George Smith (Bernice) of Holly, NY; Rick Smith (Amy) of Watrous, PA; Kirk Smith (Linda) of Montour Falls, NY and Harry Smith (Tina) of Oklahoma; one uncle, Virgil Smith (Anna) of Montour Falls; one aunt, Barbara Smith Wood of Middlebury, PA; and a brother-in-law, Vern Ayers of Lawrenceville, PA. He is also survived by his loving step-mother, Alberta Smith of Montour Falls; stepsister, Beverly Cervoni (Ronald) of Watkins Glen, NY; and four step-brothers, Robert Simpson (Denise) of Burdett, NY; Frank Simpson of Boone, NC; Donald Simpson of Beaver Dams, NY; and Ronald Simpson (Caroline) of Watkins Glen.

Glenn's approach to life was energetic and optimistic. In 1963, he moved to NYC to live. He worked as a bread baker until 1969 when he was drafted into the Army and sent to Vietnam. Having been an outdoorsman from a young age, he excelled as a "sharpshooter" and was an excellent cook and baker. Twice he volunteered to take soup to the front lines and twice the helicopter was shot down. The horrors of his Vietnam experiences returned to disturb his days and to haunt his dreams for the rest of his life.

Honorably discharged in 1971, he returned to PA where he worked as a foreman at St. Mary's Carbon, Coudersport, PA for the next 15 years. He grew restless, decided to change directions and moved to Himrod, NY where he owned/operated a convenience store.

After 10 years he again returned to PA. He successfully managed the operation of the Pine Creek Vista Campground in Watrous, PA for about eight years. Glenn decided to retire at 62. He and his wife bought an RV, named it Ethel, and set off on an adventure south and west.

He particularly enjoyed Florida's Flagler Beach; the Lost Dutchman State Park in Apache Junction, AZ, and the peacefulness of watching deer come to feed each evening by the South Llano River in Junction, TX. He loved nature and working outside. For much of his life he enjoyed hunting and camping with brothers and friends. He took pleasure in whatever work he did as long as he was physically active. He found a degree of solace in gardening, building or repairing, and enjoyed his prowess in the kitchen and on the dance floor.

He joined the VFW in 1976 and especially loved sharing fellowship and laughter with other vets at Post #6611 in Galeton, PA. Glenn seemed to be able to fix anything broken; he had a quirky sense of humor, was friendly, and always quick to lend a hand to anyone who needed his help. He was a good man...a kind man...a loving man. He is missed.

While serving in Vietnam, his exposure to the chemical Agent Orange was deemed to have been a major cause of the lung/brain cancer which he survived for 14 months. He was treated with respect and gentleness during the two months he was hospitalized at the Bath VAMC. As he grew weaker he wanted to go home "to live or to die!" So, for the final 10 days of his time on earth, he was home. The hospital bed was set up in the living room where, through the large window opposite, he could see the hill he slid down as a boy and another hill on which he hunted with his father. At the moment his weary spirit left this world, he was holding his wife's hand.

Glenn said he was never really interested in or aware of spiritual things until one particularly harrowing Vietnam night when, alone and lost amidst enemy fire, he called on God for help. He said, "At that moment a brilliant light came down like a sunbeam from heaven and led me through the tangled jungle to safety." Then, with those memorable blue eyes shining, he grinned and said, "That's how I know God loves me!"

That proof was enough and it gave him peace as he made his transition from the physical to the spiritual. Glenn loathed funerals and disliked tears, so in keeping with his wishes for his departure from this world to be without fanfare, no visitations or religious services were held and cremation was handled quietly, compassionately and efficiently by the Carleton Funeral home in Wellsboro, PA.

A memorial service to honor Glenn's life will be held possibly in June. Tentative plans include a military service (which he deserves) at the Galeton, PA VFW followed by a picnic, live music, dancing and laughter (all of which he loved). For those who may wish to honor him and his military service with a monetary gift, please make your donation "in memory of Glenn Wade Smith" payable to "Bath VAMC Hospice Care Fund" and mail to Administrator of Bath VAMC, Bath, NY 14610. At the passing of a loved one, survivors find succor in quiet reflections of their personal memories.

It is hoped, amidst the tears we shed for our own sense of loss, we may remember to "mourn not the loss of the body but rather celebrate the release of the spirit." It helps to think of Glenn as laughing and dancing with the angels!

11 comments :

Anonymous said...

I have read many things, written in many ways, for those of us that have passed on. from here to where we are going. but I have never read anything like this. The person who wrote it. cared! I hope when I go. somebody can write like this for me .

Sir, you will be missed.

Anonymous said...

ditto

Anonymous said...

Wow. What an outstanding tribute and life story. I never had the honor of meeting this gentleman. Thank you to the author of this piece for touching us with your writing.

Anonymous said...

I did know the man and his wife. Knowing her I'm guessing that she wrote this wonderful tribute to Glenn and his life. They are both wonderful people and Glenn will be missed.

Anonymous said...

I've only ever heard good about Glenn. A great tribute to a great man.

Anonymous said...

Have to say,that tribute was touching and left me feeling as if I had missed out by not knowing Mr. Smith.Can only hope someone knows me as well when I too depart.

Derek Hamilton said...

A great tribute to a great man. I wish I could have met. Thank you for serving your country, and giving all of us the freedom's we have, Thank you Mr Glenn Wade Smith

Anonymous said...

What an awesome and honorable tribute to a wonderful man that met his Saviour, I'm sure he is dancing with the angels in heaven!
Again, another big thank you for serving our country and keeping us safe!

Anonymous said...

Godspeed, Glenn. And thank you for protecting our freedoms.
wow, a beautiful well said piece.

Anonymous said...

I worked with Glenn at SMC for many years. He was a good man and I looked up to him alot. He had a very insightful way of looking at life, and I remember laughing at many of the things he used to tell me. He had a great smile and in my "minds eye", I can still see it!!! I also remember how energetic of a worker he was at SMC. This was not upon occasion, but all the time!!!
You will be missed Glenn. I am glad that I knew you....

Anonymous said...

This is truly a touching description of a fine mans life.
His wife had to be very proud and loving of him.
I’m going to keep it and post it here in my office.
It’s as if I’d had known him.
This is truly a touching description of a fine mans life.
His wife had to be very proud and loving of him.
I’m going to keep it and post it here in my office.
It’s as if I’d had known him.
This is truly a touching description of a fine mans life.
His wife had to be very proud and loving of him.
I’m going to keep it and post it here in my office.
It’s as if I’d had known him.