Lawrence (Larry) passed to his eternal reward on Nov. 17, 2018, in Billings. Larry died of natural causes at age 90. He was born on Feb. 24, 1928, in Darlington, WI to John Francis Smith and Grace Elizabeth McCarville Smith.
Larry moved to Milwaukee, WI with his family from Mineral Point, WI when he was seven. After graduating from West Division High School in Milwaukee, WI in 1946 he enlisted in the US Navy, served 4 years, and was honorably discharged in June 1950. He was stationed at Great Lakes Naval Air Station, Seattle, WA and San Diego, CA, aboard the USS Ajax. Larry was proud of his service as well as the Military Service of all his brothers – all WW 2 veterans. Larry received the ‘Victory Medal’ and the ‘Presidential Testimony’ medals.
After military service, Larry returned to Seattle, Washington where he worked for Dahm Theaters. But, he eventually returned to Milwaukee where he attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and worked for A.O. Smith International.
Larry married Anita Christison in 1956 and started working for the Social Security Administration in Milwaukee, WI that same year. He retired in 1983 after 27 years with Social Security and his last 11 years he worked as a Social Security Field Representative in the greater Billings, area with regular visits to the 7 counties surrounding Billings including as far north as Lewistown, and as far south to the Wyoming border.
Larry spent many hours enjoying the fishing holes in the Billings area. In 1983 he was the first President of the Billings chapter of a new organization, Walleyes Unlimited, an organization promoting warm water fisheries.
Larry and Anita spent many winters in Mesa, AZ as snowbirds. In Arizona, they enjoyed spending time with their 2 grandchildren. He would always say, ‘We are so thankful to have such a dedicated family.’
Larry was preceded in death by his parents John and Grace Smith and five siblings, Richard Smith, Virginia Wutschel, Mary Grace Ryan, Bernard Smith, Julian Smith, and son-in-law Michael Abel.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Anita, and his children, Cynthia Abel of Mesa, AZ, Kevin Smith of Billings, Vincent (Maria) of Irvine, CA, Neil (Rosalynn) of Olympia, WA, Glenn of Florence, MA and grandchildren Andrew (Carrie) Abel of Tempe, AZ, Scott Abel of Mesa, AZ, and Patrick Liam and Anita Grace Smith of Irvine, CA, and one great-grandson, Nathan Abel.
Michelotti-Sawyers funeral home in Billings is in charge of arrangements. Funeral Mass will be at St. Pius X church at 2 p.m. on Nov. 23, 2018. Burial will be in Holy Cross Cemetery, Milwaukee, WI and will be coordinated by Becker Ritter Funeral Home in Milwaukee.