Richard Graham Smith
October 22, 1929 – March 14, 2019
Richard G. Smith, 89, of Decatur went to be with our Lord on the morning of Thursday, March 14th, 2019. Born in Durham, NC, in 1929, Richard went on to receive a degree in Engineering from Auburn University. He was a member of the rocket research and development team at Redstone Arsenal for nine years, before transferring to NASA. He worked his way up through positions of increasing responsibility until 1974, when he was named Deputy Director of Marshall Space Center in Huntsville. In 1978, Richard accepted a one-year assignment as deputy associate administrator for Space Transportation Systems at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. He then assumed the role of Director at Kennedy Space Center in 1979 and was inducted into the Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame in 2011. Richard loved and embraced Jesus Christ, his family, and Auburn football with enthusiasm and joy. A member of the Methodist church for over 70 years, Richard was a humble man, despite his many achievements. He lived life with purpose and dignity, but always displayed a sense of humor. He is preceded in death by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Marvin G. Smith of Decatur, AL, and his son, Richard G. Smith (Rick). He is survived by his wife of close to 66 years, Louise Self Smith, daughters Carol (Mrs. Buck G. Murray) and Lisa (Mrs. Donald L. Kirby), granddaughters Jessica (Mrs. Donald P. Elbel II) and Katie (Mrs. James Ashley Bowling), and four great-grandchildren: Kensley Bowling, Conner Bowling, Donald “Trey” Elbel, and Lana Elbel. Visitation will be held at Roselawn Funeral Home on Sunday from 5:00pm to 8:00pm. Celebration of Life Services will be Monday at 11:00am. Richard will be laid to Rest at Roselawn Cemetery. The family would like to thank Hospice of North Alabama for their exceptional care during the last 5 months.
Celebration of Life
Roselawn Funeral Home Chapel
- Visitation Sunday, March 17, 2019