Walter Leon Smith

November 22, 1932October 2, 2018

Walter Leon Smith, 85, of Fishersville, passed away on Tuesday, October 2, 2018 at Shenandoah Nursing and Rehab Center. He was born in Williamsport, Pennsylvania on November 22, 1932, a son of the late Walter Horace and Marie Elizabeth (Kandybska) Smith. On May 2, 1954, he married Joyce (Kirkpatrick) Smith, who preceded him in death in 2001. Walt proudly served in the United States Navy from January 1951 until December 1954. During his time in the military, he taught ground instrument flying to Navy pilots using the LINK ("Blue box" or "Pilot Trainer") flight simulator during the Korean War. He aided in opening and operating AFRS Radio Station in the French Morocco Naval Air Facility during his off-duty hours. He was awarded three medals during his service. Walt graduated from Roselle Park High School in New Jersey and IBM Engineering School, assigned to projects in Memphis, TN. He worked as an advertising and broadcasting executive in radio and TV in Brinkley and Little Rock, AR, before moving to Richmond, VA, where he was Operations Manager of WRVA Radio. During his varied career, he also worked in recreational vehicle and marine sales and service, and was the owner and operator of Rec-Aid of Stuarts Draft where he designed and built the first “Road Hog Special” touring bus for the Statler Brothers, and other custom conversions of specialty vehicles for photography and classroom use. In semi-retirement, he owned and resided at Meadow Mountain Camp Resort and Lumena at Love, VA, and also served for a brief period as Managing Director at the International Training & Communications Center at The Monroe Institute in Faber, VA. Walt served as President of both the Stuarts Draft Ruritan Club and the Rotary Club. He was a member of the Stuarts Draft Business Association, Nelson County Parks and Recreation Commission, Industrial Development Committee, American Legion Office, REACT, and various other civic activities in Virginia and Arkansas. Throughout his life he was interested in community theatre and played the lead in a production of "Visit to a Small Planet," but mostly enjoyed backstage technical and PR support roles. In addition to his parents and first wife, he was preceded in death by his siblings Elaine, James, Darlene, and Richard; and second wife, Carol P. Hicks. Left to cherish his memory are his children and their spouses, Debbie (Scott) Glenn of Mint Spring, Cheryl (Jim) Lockhart of Roanoke, Teri (Terry) Robinson of Verona, Walter L. (Sherri) Smith, II, of Beaverdam, and Patrick G. (Morgan) Smith of Fishersville; his siblings, David, Diane and Marlene; seven grandchildren, three great grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild, as well as extended family and friends. Per his express wishes, there will be no viewing. Following cremation, there will be a private burial at Thornrose Cemetery. The family is grateful to the nurses, CNA's, doctors, support staff, and administrators at Shenandoah Nursing and Rehab for their unsung faithfulness in caring for him in his last years. Their collective and individual kindnesses and loving acts are deeply appreciated. Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of your choice. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Staunton Chapel of Reynolds Hamrick Funeral Homes. Relatives and friends may share condolences and memories online with the family by visiting


Walter Leon Smith

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David Catrino

October 5, 2018

Never met this amazing soul but through Coleen’s shared memories I feel as though I had. Rest In Peace and go have some fun with siblings especially Jim who we miss so very much.

Keep a cabin open for us in the future up there!!!

Dave - Coleen - Kelly and Keeley Catrino

David Smith

October 5, 2018

Uncle Walt, thank you for all the wonderful vacations you hosted for our families. I have the fondest memories of our summer trips. You will be dearly missed by all of us! May you rest in peace.

Diane Stilwell

October 4, 2018

You moved on when I was young, but I have fond memories of when you came home on leave or visited with your family. You will be missed, but good Lord willing we will meet again. To your children.....Remember the good times and obey your father's wishes. He loved you and wanted the best for you. Take care of each other and God Bless.

Teri Robinson

October 4, 2018

Free of pain, free of fear and free to roam - I envy you that. Until we meet again - I will miss your signature expressions - see you down the road....

Walt Smith

October 4, 2018

You were my hero as a kid. You taught me so much and gave me a curiosity about how things work that has made me the person I am today There is so much of you in me. I will never forget you and there will always be a hole in my life where you should be standing beside me holding a hammer. Rest easy dad.