Martin J SmithMay 24, 1924 ~ January 5, 2018 (age 93)
Martin J. Smith, 93, of Waterville, passed away at his home on January 5, 2018. He was born in Toledo at Robinwood Hospital on May 24, 1924, as James Irving Mitchell, Jr. to James, Sr. and Mary Pheatt Mitchell. He later changed his name to Martin James Smith, after his mother Mary, wed Martin George Smith.
On January 20, 1951, he married Jane Ann Bucher at Epiphany Lutheran Church, Toledo. Mr. Smith is survived by his wife, Jane; his children, Victoria (Stephen) Norwood of Defiance, Andrew (Kathleen) of Maria Stein, Eric (Diane) of Maumee, Janet (Mark) Smith of Perrysburg and his sister, Marilyn Born of Michigan. He was the proud grandfather of Rebecca (Joshua) Burdette, Luke (Ann Zallocco) Smith, Tyler (William) Nunemaker, Alexander Norwood, Allison (Jason) Burdorff and Nathaniel, Kelsey, Kevin, and Kate Smith as well as the great-grandfather of seven.
Mr. Smith was a veteran of both WWII and Korea and was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in WWII. He served with the US Army's 30th Cav. Recon. Troop 2nd Platoon, Mortar Gunner. He was a Jeep driver from Normandy to the Ardennes and armored car driver in the Battle of the Bulge. The 30th met the German elite 1st SS Panzer Division for the second time during the Battle of the Bulge, defeating them again and helping to prevent a German breakthrough of the Allied line. Mr. Smith served until the end of the war, earning five battle stars.
Mr. Smith was a pupil at Nazareth Hall in Grand Rapids and a graduate of Thomas A. DeVilbiss High School. He attended the University of Toledo, earning a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration.
After the war, Mr. Smith joined the National Guard 37th Division. Upon completion of Officer Candidate School, he received his commission and went to Artillery School at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. While there, the 37th Division was called to active duty and was based at Camp Polk, Louisiana. From there he was deployed to Korea with the 45th Division, where he earned two more battle stars.
After discharge from the service, Mr. Smith became a founding partner in the firm Hoffner & Smith. He later went to work for the State of Ohio as a statistician, becoming an office manager for the Ohio Bureau of Employment Services for 24 years at various branches until his retirement.
He and his wife, Jane, built a home in Waterville in 1955 to raise their family and were active in various community groups such as Waterville Playshop and the Choral Society. He was a past chairman of the March of Dimes and a past Commander of Waterville Post #335 of the American Legion. Mr. Smith was a collector of flags from all over the world and often displayed them, especially on designated holidays for a particular country. After retirement, he and his wife traveled often to such favorite places as Gatlinburg, St. Augustine, Niagara Falls and Toronto.
Arrangements are being handled by Thomas I. Wisniewski Funeral Home, 2426 N. Reynolds Rd, Toledo. Visitation will be held on Monday, January 8 at 12:30 p.m. with funeral service to follow at 1:30 p.m.