Gene G. Smith of 822 Kocher Drive, Grove City, died peacefully at 11:54 p.m. Monday, Sept. 3, 2012, in Visiting Nurses Association Hospice, Butler, after a brief illness. He was 85.
Mr. Smith was born April 1, 1927, in Hermitage to Carl H. and Cora Troutman Smith.
He is survived by Shirley Pratt Smith, to whom he was married for 63 years, and was a resident of Hermitage until moving to Grove City in 2000.
Gene graduated from Hickory High School in 1945, and attended Youngstown State and Penn State universities.
He was a registered civil engineer and land surveyor.
Mr. Smith served in the U.S. Army from 1945 to 1947 with the Army Security Agency.
From 1978 until his retirement in 1992, Gene served as managing engineer with Greenville Reynolds Development Corp., for which he also had served as president of its board of directors.
Mr. Smith also served as project engineer for highway and bridge construction projects with the Pennsylvania Department of Highways (PennDOT) from 1963-78.
In his early career, Smith was a self-employed general contractor and had worked at Westinghouse Electric Corp.
He was appointed by the Pennsylvania governor to the State Transportation Commission from 1989 through 2004, during which time he served as secretary and vice chairman.
He was the national president and a lifelong member of the American Society of Highway Engineers and was named an honorary member in 2001.
Active on the boards of directors and in leadership for numerous county and regional economic development organizations, Mr. Smith served as secretary of the Pennsylvania Economic Development Association, vice chair of Penn Northwest Economic Development Corp., chair of the Mercer County Employee Advisory Council, vice chair of Northwest Regional Planning Commission, as well as a board member of Mercer County Vocational Technical School.
He was an active volunteer in numerous building and expansion projects for St. Paul's, West Salem Township, as a board member from 1980 to 2002, and was named a board member emeritus in 2003.
As an active member of the Hickory/Hermitage Volunteer Fire Department since 1957, he was named a life member in 2000.
In 1992, Mr. Smith was named the Mercer County Distinguished Citizen of the Year by Boy Scouts of America, French Creek Council.
Until 2000, he belonged to Hickory United Methodist Church, Hermitage, and most recently had been a member of Grace United Methodist Church, Grove City.
Mr. Smith was an active community servant, a master woodworker and furniture maker and devoted husband, father and grandfather.
Besides his wife, Shirley A. Smith of Grove City, he leaves three children, Susan J. Jensen; and Dr. Edward G. Smith and his wife Leann, all Grove City; and Frederick C. Smith, Southampton, New York.
He is also survived by his grandchildren, Abby Wolfe and her husband Britton; Chelsea Smith; and Ian Smith; and his great-granddaughter, Elizabeth Jean.
Gene was preceded in death by his parents, Carl H. and Cora M. Smith; his brothers, Phillip G. and Robert C. Smith; and a sister, Christina Mary Dallas.
Memorial service for family and friends at 11 a.m. Saturday (9-8-12) in Grace United Methodist Church, Grove City, with the Rev. Howard Greenfield and the Rev. Willard S. Morse officiating. A luncheon will follow at the church.
Arrangements by Cunningham Funeral Home Inc., Grove City.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that memorial contributions be given to Grove City Community Library, 125 W. Main St.; or Grace United Methodist Church, 210 S. Broad St., Box 368, both Grove City, PA 16127.
Published Sept. 8, 2012 in Allied News. Pick up a copy at 201A Erie St., Grove City.