- 91 years old
- Date of birth: Nov 6, 1924
- Place of birth:
St. Paul, Minnesota, United States
- Date of passing: Mar 17, 2016
- Place of passing:
San Jose, California, United States
|When I go, I just want all my friends and family together to have a drink and say: "He was a good guy"|
Please join us in celebrating the life of Wally Smith. He had a full life, and passed away peacefully on March 17, 2016 with his wife and children close by. Your thoughts are with our family.
"We have been blessed to have had Wally as a husband and father to our five children. We had 67 years together and we all agree we were not prepared to see him leave us. He was a loving husband and father and we could ask no more of him. We will miss him dearly."
"Here's looking at You, kid!"
"Wally was the kind of guy you liked right from the start. I did...so much so in fact that I decided to attempt to become his son-in-law. I was successful in that effort, and at least from my perspective, it was a most fortunate outcome. Not only did I get to spend more time with Wally, I got to marry his beautiful daughter Shelley. I am truly honored to have known Wally and to be among so many celebrating his life.
Wally was, of course, a loving husband and father, one generous to a fault. He was also sharp as a tack, and had a great sense of humor. Few could tell a story or a joke better than Wally. And I consider myself very lucky to have been around to hear a good number of them over the years.
Perhaps the thing I loved most about Wally was his own abiding love of my daughter Morgan. He and Lorraine were surely the best grandparents any kid could have. Morgan felt just as much at home at their house as at ours.
They truly took her under their wings. They engaged her in dinner table discussions, both humorous and serious; they encouraged her academically, and they followed through by attending many of her school functions -- even when they occurred during the cocktail hour. Moreover, they took the time to introduce Morgan to their favorite pastime, golf, at the Alta Sierra Golf Club in Grass Valley, where she not only quickly became known to practically everyone as Wally and Lorraine's granddaughter, but also as a reasonably competent player.
So, while it seems woefully inadequate to say, I do want to say, "Thank you Wally and thank you Lorraine...for everything.""
"I am Wendy Baker, the teacher from Alta Sierra Elementary School who brought Wally to our school and students. I had started an after-school homework/tutoring program in 1993 and had ninety students participate! I contacted Retired Volunteer Seniors Program (RSVP) for help, and "Grandpa Wally" came to my rescue. For years, he continued to volunteer in my math class to help children understand math concepts and multiplication facts. To this day, I continue to distribute and use the multiplication table he brought to us. He also helped prepare our students in algebra in order to compete in the annual county math tournament. I once wrote a submission letter to nominate him for "Volunteer of the Year," for which he was duly deserving. He was quite humbled by the nomination. I also remember him proudly boasting of the many achievements of his granddaughter, Morgan, almost as much as he complained about his golf game! I am still teaching at Alta Sierra Elementary School (this is year 37 with one more on the horizon before retirement), and have witnessed many changes over the years. But, discovering whose life we have touched and how deeply we have touched is always a wonderful surprise. It is truly an honor to have known such an amazing, accomplished man. Rest in peace, "Grandpa Wally," and thank you for all you have given us."
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