M. Dean "Smitty" Smith was a modest man, quiet and observant in his ways. He was trustworthy and traditional in his approach to his life and in his relationships. He was tough-minded with the kind of "stick to it" attitude that earned the respect of all who knew him. He was also a man who was meticulous, carefully disciplined, and orderly in virtually everything he undertook. Realistic about life, he was always at the ready, prepared to take on responsibility.
Dean was born on July 13, 1952 at Memorial Hospital in Johnstown. PA. His parents were Melvin and Ruth Smith. Dean was raised in Johnstown, PA. He was brought up to be self-confident and dependable. These were traits that would serve him well throughout his life.
Growing up in the Smith household was a bit different than most homes. There were good times to be had, but just as often there was a fair share of challenges as well. However, Dean was able to work through the usual family problems when they appeared, and he was the one person in the family who seemed able to keep the stress at bay. Dean was raised with two siblings. He had two older sisters Anita and Linda. Dean was constantly involved in activities with his sisters. Dean and his siblings may have had the typical rivalries while growing up but Dean was always consistently loyal to his family.
As a young child, Dean was never someone who needed to be the center of attention. He wasn't pushy and never forced his way into games or other activities. Dean developed a variety of interests, though, and the things he enjoyed doing he did well. He was always curious about the world around him and was often eager to explore it. Dean took part in football, baseball, track and boxing. He was a cub scout. In his spare time he liked to work on vehicles with his Uncle Vic. However, what Dean enjoyed most was simply playing and spending time with his many friends.
While his teachers and even his friends generally thought of Dean as being a serious person, he managed to have a pretty good time in high school as he made that critical transition from adolescence to adulthood. He graduated from Richland High School in 1970. He enjoyed some courses more than others, having favorite classes and teachers. His favorite class in high school was athletics. The teachers he enjoyed learning from the most were all his coaches. He would tell you he was happy to graduate! Dean was a very logical person who enjoyed learning about factual information. Using his exceptional memory, he was able to learn much through observation. Dean always seemed to have a command of the facts and was able to make it seem as though he could easily master any problem that might be presented to him.
Always considered to be a solid friend, Dean was fortunate to have numerous acquaintances and several very close friends during his life. Since he disliked making generalizations about people and preferred to draw his own conclusions based on direct observation, Dean was able to see beneath the surface of relationships and became a true friend to those who knew him. He was committed to his friends and valued the trust he placed in them. It was not uncommon for Dean to go beyond the call of duty for others, and friends frequently sought him out for advice because he had a knack for coming up with practical solutions to any type of dilemma. While growing up, some of his best friends were Rick Worrell and Larry Tormina. Later in life, he became friends with most anyone he met.
On February 24, 1973 Dean exchanged wedding vows with Shirley Catherine Reis at the Memorial Hospital Chapel of Johnstown, PA. Compassionate and devoted to Shirley, Dean held endearing, traditional values about marriage and family life. He took the responsibility of marriage to heart, giving it his total commitment. He was a source of strength to Shirley and using his gifts at nurturing one-on-one relationships, he worked hard to make his new family happy.
Dean brought the same traditional values in his marriage to bear on how he raised his children. He was a good parent to them, always firm yet fair in his dealings. He would always listen carefully and think things through before he acted, even when it was an adverse situation. Dean was also a walking schedule, always seeming to know what everyone in the family needed to do, where they needed to be and when they needed to be there. Dean was blessed with two children, one son, Christopher Dean Smith and one daughter Julie Denise Smith. They were also blessed with three grandchildren, Drake Allen Smith, Peyton Catherine Claire Watkins and Abbie Nahina Smith.
Dean greatly enjoyed what he did for a living. He was a hard worker who expected the same in return from his co-workers. He was skilled at working effectively in small groups and in one-on-one situations as well as handling solo assignments efficiently. Dean enjoyed dealing with concrete ideas and could penetrate any amount of fuzzy information to reach the essential facts. Always able to attend to the task at hand, Dean was excellent at meeting deadlines. He was an efficient worker, one who paid careful attention to detail, allowing sufficient time to complete one task before moving on to the next. His primary occupation was Fleet Service Clerk. He was employed for 40 years for American Airlines. Dean worked hard to be a team player, doing what was necessary in order to get the job done.
Dean liked to experience things first-hand as well as learn about them. This trait carried over into his hobbies, where he was very methodical in how he organized his activities and categorized things. Since he enjoyed his private time, Dean always tried to allocate a specific time for working on his hobbies. His favorite pursuits were oil painting, shooting pool, collected baseball cards and was an amateur magician. Dean was content to enjoy his hobbies alone but was also willing to share his interests with others.
Dean found pleasure in sports. Being a person who was comfortable making win/lose decisions throughout life, he could appreciate that athletes made those types of decisions in sports. He applauded those who won, and he enjoyed the statistical data and sports facts and could find himself wrapped up in those details. In high school, Dean played football, baseball and track. Recreational sports included softball. He would watch his favorite sporting events whenever he got the opportunity. Tops on his list were football, baseball, NASCAR racing and hockey.
Dean was a man who was dedicated and devoted to his faith. He was a member of Richland Christian Church, where his father was the minister. He was a sympathetic man who valued his beliefs and was willing to work tirelessly for them.
Dean enjoyed traveling and taking vacations. Since he was an early starter and had a knack for planning everything, traveling with Dean appeared effortless. He enjoyed researching all of his examined options and applying cost-effective planning techniques. Plus, no matter where he traveled, Dean always had a back up plan at the ready, just in case. Favorite vacations included Talladega Super speedway, Myrtle Beach, SC and Disneyland without the children.
Dean was a lover of animals and cherished his pets. One of Dean's favorites was Sugar, his 110 lb. Great Pyrenees. They were best friends for 8 years.
Dean "Smitty" Smith passed away on January 21, 2013 at MCA Arlington, TX. Complications from pneumonia. He is survived by wife Shirley (Hon), children Julie & Chris, Grandchildren Drake, Peyton, Abbie and sisters Anita Stiles and Linda Smith. Services were held at Moore Bowen Rd Chapel. Dean was laid to rest in Moore Memorial Gardens in Arlington, TX.
Commitment is a key word that can be used to describe the life of Dean "Smitty" Smith. He was committed to living the life of a good man who was both practical and trustworthy. He was committed to the traditional values that he upheld his entire life. He committed himself to being a hard worker who expected the same effort in return from those around him. Most of all, he was committed to those he knew and loved.