Tommy Marvin Smith, died of the complications related to stroke on Friday August 31, 2012 in Carlsbad, California. At the time of his death he lived in Oceanside, California. He was 73.
He was born on February 22, 1939, in Longview, Texas. He attended high school in Longview, Texas and received his high school diploma in 1959. He attended Ridgewood University and received his Bachelor’s of Science in Manufacturing Engineering in 2006.
He enlisted in the Navy in 1956 serving honorably until 1959 when he returned to Longview, Texas to pursue additional education and civilian employment. In 1960 he re-enlisted in the Navy and served honorably until his retirement from active duty at the rank of E-7 in 1978. During his long and distinguished naval career as an Aviation Machinist’s Mate he served at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba during the Cuban missile crisis, on the USS Coral Sea (CVB 43) during the Vietnam War; and the USS Constellation (CV 64). After retiring from the Navy he began a new career at General Dynamics where he worked on the Operations/Quality Assurance Team for the original cruise missile program. He moved on to their Space Division where he won a cost reduction proposal award for saving the company $125,000.00. After a series of different jobs and after having survived a series of corporate mergers he ended his career with Lockheed Martin in 2011 as a Quality Assurance Engineer after 33 years of service to the company. His greatest frustration during his career was the lack of camaraderie and inability of others to stay focused on the mission at hand.
“Shipmate” – A term of endearment shared by only a special few with whom he served. He knew it was a special honor to give or be given that title. It always held a special meaning to him. He treasured the many friendships he formed during his time in the Navy, along with those developed during his civilian career.
Even though he worked hard throughout his life Tommy never forgot his family and friends. He married Margaret Katherine Shaw in 1963. They had two boys together Myron Keith on November 1, 1964 and Milo Kerwin on June 11, 1969. He became a Grandfather on November 11, 2003 when Samantha Faith was born.
He is survived by his sons Myron Keith Smith and Milo Kerwin Smith; His ex-wife Margaret Smith; His daughter-in-laws Laura Seybold Smith and Heather Smith; His granddaughter Samantha Faith Smith; His sisters Gwendolyn Maxey and Ester Smith; Sister-in-laws Della Smith, Melba Smith and Juanita Smith; along with a host of nephews and nieces.
The following siblings preceded him in death:
- Chauncey Fury Smith Jr.
- Travis Fury
- Alvin Smith
- Willie D. Smith
- Wilbert Earl Smith
- Glodean Brown
In his free time Tommy loved to cook. He was the designated chief for family functions and his barbecued ribs and chicken were legendary. Tommy liked to experiment with different spices and ingredients but this experimentation did not always produce edible results. However, when the combination worked for him, the tastes and flavors were out of this world. Friends, neighbors and workmates often made special requests for his unique, exotic and tasty dishes.
Tommy’s Interment Service will be September 20, 2012 at Miramar National Cemetery. He was a fine man who will be deeply missed by his family and friends.