Thornton Edward Smith (1923-2019)
GREENPORT, NY - Thornton Edward Smith, a resident of Peconic Landing, died on Saturday, November 23, 2019. He was 96 years old. Born in Hempstead, NY, on November 11, 1923, Thornton was the son of the late Dr. Henry Buel Smith and Hazel Sweezy Smith. Thornton graduated from the Phillips Exeter Academy in the Class of 1941. During WWII, he served in the Army Core of Engineers on the Manhattan Project and in the Philippines. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1948 and an MBA from the Harvard Business School in 1949.
Thornton spent his professional career as the owner and CEO of Kuhn, Smith & Harris, Inc., a construction business headquartered in Manhattan, NY, which he proudly ran for over 35 years. He also continued his military career in the Army Reserves, eventually rising to the rank of Colonel. He was a graduate of the Army Command and General Staff College and the Army War College. His love of the Boy Scouts spanned 84 years beginning with earning the rank of Eagle Scout and culminating with a fifty-five year association with Troop 71 in Plandome, NY. All four of his sons became Eagle Scouts, along with three of his grandsons. He was a loyal member of the Delta Upsilon fraternity and served for over 40 years as a member of the Plandome Fire Department. Thornton was a member of the First Universalist Church at Southold and the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock, Manhasset, NY. In addition to hunting, fishing, and hiking in the outdoors, he loved to hear about family members’ challenges and accomplishments and was always ready with assistance and support. He was known for his loyalty, sense of duty, and perseverance in all that he did.
Thornton is survived by his wife of 68 years, Sherry Wakelee Smith, of Peconic Landing, Greenport, NY; sons Jeffrey T. Smith of Arlington, VA; T. Wakelee Smith of Sag Harbor, NY; Riordon B. Smith of Vero Beach, FL; and Neil H. Smith of Weston, MA; daughter Tarin Smith Davies of Albuquerque, NM; grandchildren Carlie and Kyland Smith; Ryan, Austin, and Ashley Davies; Dillon, Cheyenne, and Colter Smith; Amanda (Ohnmacht), Winston, and Everett Smith; Skylar, Chloe, and Carter Smith; great grandchildren Gabrielle, Marius, Theodore and Cassien Davies; and Greyson Davies. Thornton is also survived by his sister, Shirley Smith Anderson. Preceeding him in death was his brother, Buel Sweezy Smith.
Visiting hours will be held from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm on Tuesday November 26, 2019 at Horton-Mathie Funeral Home, 735 First Street, Greenport, NY, 11944.
A memorial celebration will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, November 30, 2019, in the auditorium at Peconic Landing, 1500 Brecknock Road, Greenport, NY 11944. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in honor of Thornton Smith may be made to Troop 71 Foundation C/O 45 Winthrope Road, Manhasset, NY, 11030, or the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee at 689 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139-3322.
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