Kenneth G. Smith, Captain U.S. Navy, (Retired) passed away on Feb. 7, 2018, at the age of 88.
He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Patricia; sons, Thomas, Gregory and Mark Smith, all veterans; grandchildren, Richard, a veteran, (Courtney), Daniel and Holly Smith; great grandchildren, Mason and Avery Smith and brother, Gary Smith, Commander USN (Retired). His daughter, Lori Lucero; and brothers, Albert Smith, Major General, USA (Retired) and Harold Smith, Lieutenant, USN precede him in death.
Ken Smith was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the third of four sons to Albert and Florence Smith of Baltimore. After a year at Loyola College he was accepted to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, and graduated with the class of 1952. He was a career Naval Officer and Naval Aviator for 25 years. His tours included several ships and naval air squadrons, including a tour as the Commanding Officer of the squadron VAW-123, flying the E2 Hawkeye, in Norfolk, Virginia. His tours took his family and him to Pensacola, Florida,
Jacksonville, Florida, Annapolis, Maryland, Quonset Point, Rhode Island, Monterey, California, Washington, D.C., Norfolk, Virginia, and finally to Nashville, Tennessee, where he was the Commanding Officer of the Navy ROTC unit at Vanderbilt University. Many of the officers he trained still remain in touch and credit their successes, in part, to Ken’s strong leadership and counsel.
After retirement, Ken and Pat stayed in Franklin, Tennessee, and he remained with Vanderbilt as an Associate Director in the Admissions Department. In this capacity, Ken recruited many students to Vanderbilt and also was involved in many of their successes.
Ken was selfless and humble. His service to his family, friends, students, and others was his primary life motivation. He was a loving, generous, and wonderfully caring husband to Pat, and he was the primary caregiver and best friend to their eldest son, Tom, who was severely disabled in a car accident in the
There will be a visitation at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 24, at Saint Matthew Catholic Church on Sneed Road in Franklin followed by a Funeral Mass at 11 a.m. with the Rev. Mark Sappenfield, Celebrant.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to the US Naval Academy Foundation, 291 Wood Rd., Beach Hall, Annapolis, MD 21402-1254.
An online guestbook is available at AustinFuneralService.com 615-377- 0775.