In memory of
George Elbert SMITH
SMITH, George Elbert George Elbert Smith, 90, died on Friday, February 3, 2017 at the Pavilion at Great Hills in Austin. He is survived by Daphna, his wife of 70 years; his daughter and son-in-law, Cindy and James Wiesner; his daughter Susan Smith; and his grandson, Brian Wiesner. He was predeceased by his siblings Ruby, Roscoe, Warren, Nadine, Wade, and his grandson, Jason. George was born and raised in Austin, the youngest of the 6 siblings. In his early years, he worked as a lifeguard at Deep Eddy, a milkman and as a district manager and advertising salesman for the Austin American Statesman. At age 17 he enlisted in the Army Air Corps and was called into service at 18, serving from 1944 to 1946. After WWII George moved to Los Angeles, where he competed high school and enrolled in the Fred Archer School of Photography. It was in Los Angeles that he met Daphna Lemons, a teletype operator for Western Union; they were married in April, 1947. When George was later called for the Korean war, he and Daphna moved to Kelly Airforce Base in San Antonio where George worked as an instructor in the photo lab, and afterwards remained on base as a civilian. In 1951 George was commended for rescuing 2 men from a burning plane after being the first to arrive at the site of the C97 crash. After his military service George returned to Austin where he sold and repaired TVs with his brother, Warren, and later established his own appliance repair shop which he ran for many years. In 1970 he opened an air conditioning and heating company, George Smith Inc., a successful enterprise which he sold to Airtron in 1980. George was also a pioneer in the solar industry, and with his brother, Wade, presented seminars around the country on the mechanics of solar energy systems. A self-taught businessman and entrepreneur, George earned a reputation for honesty, integrity and fair business practices. George and Daphna were devoted to their church and for many years George served as a deacon, first at Hyde Park Baptist Church and later at Austin Baptist Church. He served on building and planning committees, and considered it a calling to assist aging members of his church. Everyone who knew George loved him. He was a caregiver and a family man -- kind, considerate, generous and always willing to listen, problem solve and help. His sense of humor could be relied upon to lighten up any situation. He was good-natured, optimistic, and uncomplaining until the end, often insisting that "tomorrow will be a better day." A celebration of George's life will be held at 2 pm on March 18, at Austin Baptist Church, 7016 Ribelin Ranch Dr., Austin TX 78750. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer's Association: http://www.alz.org/join_the_cause_donate.asp?utm_expid=114662058-20.4OKUgzS0TPWJ2APqz3KHtQ.0&utm_referrer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.alz.org%2F
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