American Veteran 08

Gary Lloyd Smith

March 16, 1945 ~ February 26, 2021 (age 75)

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Obituary

In loving memory of a Veteran and Family man;

Lieutenant Commander Gary Lloyd Smith, born March 16, 1945 while his father was in Europe during WWII, sailor and navigator of life, passed Friday February 26, 2021.  He is missed dearly and deeply by the love of his life and wife, Mary, as well by his proud family, friends, and community.

A lifelong, true-to-the-end, Green Bay Packers fan, Gary was born to Archibald and Evelyn (Krinke) Smith.  He was always an avid learner with a wide variety of interests including:playing the trumpet in school and his own band even accepting invitations to play Taps at funerals; electronics; leather tooling;mechanical workings; science; history; the outdoors and seas;and most definitely, sailing and fishing.  Always an active leader, Gary was in Boy Scouts, Sea Scouts, captain of the Safety Patrol in grade school, JROTC, the US Navy, and the US Coast Guard Auxiliary.  He was a Naval Officer, Naval Academy Instructor, a 20 year VP of DTI in DC, and Coast Guard Aux Post Commander.  

Immediately upon graduating with honors from Premontre High School, Gary joined the US Navy and deployed shortly after as a radar operator on the USS John King, a destroyer in the 6th Fleet.  He attended Officers Candidate School, was selected to attend Purdue University and graduated with a BS in Electrical Engineering.  He received an invitation to attend the Naval Post Graduate School to study electrical engineering and physics, which later led to his accomplishment as an Instructor at Annapolis Naval Academy.   Retirement didn’t last long, as Gary joined the US Coast Guard Aux and volunteered with the Lusby Fire Department.

Gary was blessed to have been married to his best friend and love of his life, Mary Vaigneur.  Theirs was a strong, passionate love with a mutual, deep friendship.  By marrying, they brought together two families and made them one strong and loving family.  

Gary comes from a long line of patriots and veterans and has passed that on to future generations.  He is survived by: wife, Mary Ann Vaigneur Smith; siblings Neal (Diane), Jim (Sally), and Katie; children Kevin (Pam), Andy (Kim), and Matthew (Leigh Ayn); nieces Maria (Nate), Breckin (Josh), Jenae, and Kristin (Kirk); nephew Nick (Samantha); grandnieces and -nephews Brailyn, Lyndin, Kyler, Harper, and Atwood;grandchildren Ethan, Todd, Vaughn, Sophia, and Josh (; and best fishing buddy Mike (Tammy).

In addition, Gary is survived by Mary’s family who he loved as his own: children Wanda (Steve), Rebecca (James), and George (Courtney); grandchildren Andrea, Lauren, Kirsten, Meghan, Lindsey, Nathaniel, Gabrielle, Brett, and Hayden; great-grandchildren Ryan, Shayne, McKayla, Avery, Maddox, Millie, Lennon, Ryker, and Madilynn.

Gary was quiet, kind, humble, and dedicated to serving his country, family, and community.  His heart was HUGE.  If not on water, he loved nature and hiking (having visited numerous National and state parks in a cross-country trip with a young family), visiting historical sites throughout his adult life, and an Alaskan trip which included nature, hiking, fishing excursions, historical site visits, whitewater rafting, and ending the day with seafood and a good whiskey.

Gary will have the honor of interment at Arlington National Cemetery.

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