Walter E. Smith, 88, Haverstraw, N.Y., former resident of Fonda, New York, passed away peacefully at the Northern Riverview Health Care Center.
Born December 26, 1925, in Albany, New York, he was the son of the late Walter A. and Ethel Frank-Smith (Hopper). Walt was raised in Hagaman, NY and Patterson, NJ before moving to Fonda where he lived most of his life.
Walt was a WW II U.S. Navy veteran where he served in the European and Asiatic-Pacific Theatres. He was an armed guard on merchant ships and while he was stationed on Guam, Walter served as personal aid and body guard for Admiral Nimitz.
Walt was employed for over 40 years as a truck driver, working for Boss Linco Truck Company in Amsterdam and later for Anderson Instrument Company in Glen. Walt was employed for several years as a bus driver for Wade Tours in Schenectady, NY until retiring in 1993.
While residing in Hagaman, he was the captain of the Hagaman Volunteer Fire Dept. for five years and received the first Fireman of the Year award in 1960. He was a member of the Hamilton Lodge 79 F. & A.M.; member and past commander of VFW Post 942 in Fonda; 40 year member of Teamsters Local 294 in Albany and a member of the Fonda-Fultonville United Methodist Church.
Walt was predeceased by his companion, Marguerite "Peggy" Phillips.
Survivors include a son, Walter E. Smith Jr. of Charlotte, NC; two daughters, Gloria D'Alessio of Lakewood, NJ and Marie Lavin of Landing, NJ; a brother, Irving Hopper of Eunice, LA; four grandsons, Jerry Celentano of Oak Ridge, NJ, Jason D'Alessio of Wesley Chapel, FL, Anthony D'Alessio of Brick, NJ and Quincy Lavin of Landing, NJ; eight great-grandchildren, and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Funeral services will be held on Monday, January 6, 2014, at 11:00 a.m. at the Jackson & Betz Funeral Home, 15 Main Street, Fultonville, NY, with the Rev. Nancy Pullen officiating. Burial will take place in Hagaman Cemetery with military honors. The family will receive relatives and friends on Sunday, January 5, 2014, from 2 to 5 p.m. at the funeral home, a Masonic service will be held at 3 p.m. and VFW will have a service at 4 p.m. during calling hours. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Fonda-Fultonville United Methodist Church, Fultonville, NY 12072. Please sign the family guest book online at www.brbsfuneral.com.