Richard L. Smith

Richard Smith

Richard Lee Smith, age 99 of Strongsville, OH, passed away on Thursday, January 5, 2023, after a brief illness.  He was born to the late Clifford and Dorothy (Wade) Smith on June 4, 1923 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Richard spent his childhood in Northeast Ohio and graduated from Twinsburg High School.  He enlisted in the Army in 1942 and was a member of the 1269th Engineering Combat Battalion where he served in the European theater in World War II. He returned back to Cleveland Ohio in 1946 where he continued working as a civilian operating engineer for the International Union of Operating Engineers.  He met his wife Patricia in Cleveland and they made their home in Garfield Hts., Ohio, where they lived for 55 years and raised their family.  He later attended Fenn College and graduated with an associate’s degree in accounting and was a founding partner in AFSCO Incorporated, a sewer and water construction business.

Richard and Patricia were avid campers which afforded them the opportunity to see 49 of the 50 United States, as well as many of our United States National Parks.  As founding members of the FuNCHAsers Camping Club, they were active in the National Campers & Hikers Association (NCHA), later the Family Campers and RVers (FCRV) where they made many life-long friends.  They served the organization as field, state, and regional directors.  As state directors, they chaired a week-long National Campvention for NCHA in 1983 at Buck Creek State Park for over 15,000 people and were part of the establishment of the Buck Creek State Park campground and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.  

Faith and family were very important to Richard.  He was a devoted father and doted on his grandchildren.  He and Patricia were members of Hathaway United Methodist Church in Garfield Hts. for over 50 years, now Hope United Methodist Church in Bedford, OH.  He was an excellent woodworker, making furniture and home décor.  He was a good cook and famous for his giblet dressing.  He loved dogs, almost as much as they loved him.  We will miss his wry smile and mischievous sense of humor. 

Richard is preceeded in death by his late wife Patricia and is survived by his daughters Lisa Smith and Melanie (Keith) Williams; and his grandchildren Marissa Smith, Emily Williams, and Matt (Maggie) Williams.

The family expresses gratitude for the care and support Richard received from Southwest General Home Health and Arch Angels Specialty Home Care (  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to UMCOR, the United Methodist Committee on Relief ( or the Northern Ohio chapter of the ALS association (

A memorial service will be scheduled at a future date.


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