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Ralph Smith

September 25, 2009

Ralph S. Smith, 91, of North Pioneer Avenue, Dallas, died Friday, September 25, 2009, at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville.

Born July 22, 1918, in Kingston, he was a son of the late Crawford C. and Anna Straw Smith. He attended Kingston High School, Wyoming Seminary, Amherst College and graduated summa cum laude from Wilkes College. After serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps in Korea during World War II, he managed the Crawford Smith Lumber Company with his brother, Gordon Smith. In 1958, Mr. Smith joined the staff of Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania and served as president form 1965 until his retirement in 1983.

Ralph Smith was a vice president of Wyoming Valley United Way, a past president of the Welfare Planning Council, member of the advisory committee to the Department of Defense on Dependents’ Medical Care and from 1968 until 1989, a member of the board of directors and chairman of the board of United Penn Bank.

He was a member of Prince of Peace Episcopal Church, where he had served as senior warden on the vestry, a past president of the Wilkes-Barre Little Theater and a member of the Westmoreland Club of Wilkes-Barre since 1953.

Ralph Smith was known as a numbers man and generally applied that talent to financial pursuits, but he also enjoyed honing his skills at card playing. He loved a good laugh at the gin rummy tables of the Westmoreland Club, and he and his wife were avid bridge players.

In his later years, he spent his time golfing, gardening, analyzing the financial markets and managing the forestland of the Smith Heirs Trust in Fairmont County. He devoted this year to the reconstruction of two bridges.

Ralph Smith was preceded in death by his wife, Eleanor; brothers Donald, Harold and Gordon Smith; and sisters Catherine Smith and Esther Howe.

Surviving are his sister Jean Ingling, Alexandria, Va.; daughter Susan Smith Lehrmitt, New York City; son S. Kerr (Sandy) Smith, New Orleans; grandchildren Cyrus Lotfipour and Laura L. Smith; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was most appreciative of the nurses and aides who made his last years more than comfortable.

A funeral service will be held Saturday, October 24, at 11 a.m. at Prince of Peace Episcopal Church, 420 Main St., Dallas, followed by interment in the Smith family plot at the Drums Community Cemetery, Dallas. Friends may call Friday, October 23, from 4 to 6 p.m., at the Harold C. Snowdon Funeral Home, 420 Wyoming Ave., Kingston.

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