LTC Herbert J. Smith III USA (Retired)
Cadet Company: M1
Date of Birth: May 27, 1941
Date of Death: May 4, 2010
Died in Lansdowne, VA
Interred: Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA
Location: Court 7 Sec PP Col 12 Niche 2 - View or Post a Eulogy
Herbert J. Smith III was born on May 27, 1941 in Saginaw, MI, the son of Herbert J. Smith Jr. and Helen Courneya Smith. Growing up in the resort town of Houghton Lake, MI, Herb graduated from Houghton Lake High School and was captain of his football team and president of his class. His leadership and inspiration was apparent from his early years. After two years of college at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, MI, where he majored in pharmacy, Herb entered West Point.
Herb had a variety of interests at West Point. In his plebe year he tried 150lb. football but found more enjoyment in the ski club all four years. He also enjoyed helping his classmates and wrote enthusiastically about the class in the Howitzer and Pointer. He also had fun with the entertainment of the 100th Night Show. He was very skilled in the Dialectic Society and Cadet Band. As the class began its planning for the first 500th night dance/celebration at West Point, Herb was most excited as he had recently met Jan Masi, whom he took to the dance. They were later married on June 2, 1966 at West Point.
Following graduation on June 9, 1965, he was commissioned in the Army's Air Defense Artillery. He graduated from Ranger School and was assigned to a Nike Hercules Site in Milwaukee, WI. Shortly after getting married, he was assigned to Vietnam as an Advisor to the Vietnamese Military. Other assignments were Fort Bliss, TX; El Paso, TX; Germany; Schofield Barracks, HI; a command assignment in Korea and a final assignment at the Pentagon as Military Assistant to the Secretary of the Army. The last was his favorite assignment. He particularly enjoyed being Legislative Liaison for the Secretary of the Army. He would eagerly share both his fun and challenges in his dealings with Congress. He retired as a lieutenant colonel in 1985 and joined Hill and Knowlton, Inc. as Vice President and Director of Military Affairs. He formed his own consulting firm, HJS International, Inc. in 1988.
While working in the Office of the Secretary of the Army he met Carole Andrews, who also worked for the Secretary. On June 13, 1987, they were married. He was very devoted to Carole. They had been married nearly 23 years when he passed. One of the things that his children admired about their father was his love for and commitment to her. He was committed to making her happy. If it was important to her, it became important to him. He would never let her forget how much he loved her. Every month he would celebrate their anniversary with a bouquet of flowers, one for each year, as well as one for each month of the current year. There were always flowers in their home! They truly made each other happy.
Here is an example of how much he was devoted to his family. On his granddaughter's fourth birthday in 2002, she had a "Princess" party, and only girls were invited. The party was in full swing when the door bell rang, and there was Herb--in a floor-length gown, head wrapped in a colorful head wrap, sunglasses on and a wand in hand--asking if this is where the princesses were gathering for the Princess Party. He was not recognized at first! This was a welcome surprise for everyone, and Herb was not going to miss the fun so he became a princess for his family!
From his earliest childhood and throughout his life, he lived his commitment to DUTY, HONOR, COUNTRY. Still, he had a tender spot in his heart for his children, Carrie and Peter, and then his five grandchildren. His children remember proudly the way he shaped their lives as he expected them to see things through no matter how hard the challenge. He always encouraged them with the phrase, "It could always be worse."
He passed away on May 4, 2010 in Virginia and is survived by his wife, Carole, of Lansdowne, VA; his first wife, Janet, of Orlando, FL and their two children: Caroline M. Nosal of Ashburn, VA and Peter H. Smith of Chevy Chase, MD, five grandchildren, as well as his sister, Shirley Bismark, of Saginaw, MI.
-- Jim Harvey, classmate and Carrie Nosal, daughter