Frederick "Buddy" A Smith
- Jan 2, 2019
Col. Frederick "Buddy" A. Smith, 88, passed away Jan. 2, 2019, at St. Mary's Hospital, Richmond, Virginia, after a long and valiant battle with an infection.
Buddy is survived by his wife of 54 years, Audrey Wood Smith; three sons, Brian, Freddie and William "Dan" Smith; two grandsons, five granddaughters; and one great-granddaughter.
Buddy was born in Huntington, West Virginia, and raised in Richmond. He attended John Marshall High School and received his B.S. from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a Master of Commerce from the University of Richmond. He pursued two careers simultaneously, serving 37 years in the Marine Corps and 30 years in the petroleum industry. Buddy enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve while still attending high school at age 17 in 1947.
After high school graduation, he self-funded his college education, while attaining the rank of sergeant in the Marine Corps Reserve before being commissioned a second lieutenant. Buddy served on active duty from 1953-1955, at The Basic School in Quantico, Virginia, with Communications Company 3rd Marine Division in Japan, and during the Korean War with the 1st Marine Division as assistant operations officer, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines and Communications Officer, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, later redeploying to Camp Pendleton, California. He rejoined the Marine Corps Reserve in 1955, in Richmond, serving with 8th Battery. In 1974, Buddy took command of the only Marine Reserve unit in Alaska, VTU 12-50, now Mobilization Training Unit Alaska-1. Buddy was promoted to colonel in 1976. Under Col. Smith's leadership, his unit produced the Arctic warfare doctrine endorsed by the commandant of the Marine Corps and used as the basis for deployment, training and operations to this day. Col. Smith's service awards included the Legion of Merit; Organized Marine Corps Reserve Medal; National Defense Medal; Korean Service Medal; Armed Service Medal; Marine Corps Reserve Service Ribbon; United Nations Service Medal and the Korean Presidential Citation.
During his years in Alaska, he was a member of many fraternal and professional organizations, including the Chamber of Commerce; board member of the Armed Services YMCA; trustee for Anchorage Elks Lodge No. 1351; Boy Scouts of America; United Way funding programs; Alaska state chairman of the Department of Defense Support for the Guard and Reserve Committee; and Alaska State Commission to procure a memorial statue to Alaska veterans. Buddy joined Esso Standard Oil Company in 1955, holding several positions of increasing responsibility. He next moved to Mobil, becoming financial/treasury manager in 1966.
In 1973, the family moved to Alaska, where Buddy joined the Alyeska Pipeline Company, later known as the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. He participated in the planning, construction and operation of the pipeline, the largest privately financed construction project in history at that time. As a department manager, Buddy was responsible for all security, communications, aviation, records management, business systems policies and procedures and office facilities with related administrative services for the pipeline.
After his 30 years in the petroleum industry and 37 years of service to his nation in the Marine Corps, Buddy retired to devote his energies to his growing family. He also enjoyed fishing, golf, bowling and with family visiting his condominium at Turtle Bay in Hawaii. In 1986, he returned to Richmond but faithfully visited Alaska to enjoy fishing for many more years until his recent passing.
Family will receive friends from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, 2019, at Bliley's-Central, 3801 Augusta Ave., where a funeral ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, with full military honors provided by the James M. Slay Detachment of the Marine Corps League, of which Buddy was a charter member. His remains will be interred at a later date in The Marine Corps National Cemetery, Quantico, Virginia.
Published in Daily News-Minor on January 13, 2019
Bliley's Funeral Center, Richmond, Virginia