Gary Leon Smith
October 29, 1935 - December 21, 2019
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Gary Leon Smith, 84, died December 21 at his home in Yorktown with his wife, Elli, by his side. Born in Greeneville, SC, Gary graduated from Parker High School in 1953. He attended Furman University in Greenville, SC, and George Peabody College for Teachers in Nashville, TN.  Gary enlisted in the US Air Force and…

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Peter Forman left a message on January 16, 2020:
Elli, I’m so sorry for your loss. Chief Master Sergeant Gary L. Smith was an amazingly caring Band Leader and great musician. He garnered respect throughout the band career field through his competent and calm leadership. He respected band members, and we thought the world of him. As a USAF clarinetist in USAF Heritage of America Band, I was honored to serve with him. After he retired, he stayed active performing on Oboe…although he seemed pleased to have more time to concentrate on bird watching. CMSgt Smith was an excellent oboist. He taught MSgt Janice Bengtson's daughter Oboe until she left for college. Celeste Johnson Frehner is currently the Associate Professor of Oboe at Oklahoma State University and a member of the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra. Celeste holds degrees from Eastman and the University of Illinois...but got her start with her teacher Gary. We will honor the great memories, with the utmost respect for Gary L. Smith. — Peter & Marilyn Forman
Charlie and Charmaine left a message on December 30, 2019:
So sorry for your loss. Gary was a great guy and always fun to be around. I will always cherish the memories we had together.
Juanita halliday left a message on December 29, 2019:
Ellie and family I am truly sorry to hear about Gary! I so enjoyed when we were together and his talks. Such a kind gentle man with a smile that lit up a room. My sincere and heartfelt condolences to each of you.
Pete and Diane Moreau left a message on December 28, 2019:
Ellie your husband Gary was always the highlight of our gatherings. His famous line “is this all there is?” (his fish dinner at Pipestem) and his enjoyment of oysters at Smithfield Inn. He’ll always be missed.
Ulrike and Mike Nordhoff left a message on December 28, 2019:
We will remember Gary fondly and he will be missed by all of us! You have cared for him in the last years and that should give you peace and comfort knowing he was never alone! Hugs from us, Hicki and Micha
Peace of mind is a call away. We’re here when you need us most.
Herma & Wilfried Wotke left a message on December 28, 2019:
Elli, Herma and I wish to extend our heartfelt condolences on the passing of your beloved Gary. We certainly will miss him at the Tidewater German-American Society events. Gary was true gentleman with a great sense of humor.
Ken and Connie Christison left a message on December 25, 2019:
So sorry to hear of your loss, Elli. Gary was well respected by all who served with him, and we all have fond memories of those days. We understand the tough battle he has been through and now he is at peace.
David Walkup left a message on December 24, 2019:
I’m just thankful for all those past annul 604th AF Band Reunions when Gary and Elli could join us. We’ll miss Gary and hope Elli will be able to join us in 2020. RIP Gary. I treasured your long-time friendship.
allan birmantas left a message on December 24, 2019:
And so it goes. Another friend is gone. Gary was one of the nicest people I met while being in the AF.
Phil Compton left a message on December 23, 2019:
Love to Aunt Elli. Uncle Gary was a wonderful man, very talented, always very kind to me.
Cremation Society of Virginia left a message:
Please accept our deepest condolences for your family's loss.
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