Ernest H. Smith, 91: Active until the end

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PORTLAND — Ernest H. “Smitty” Smith, 91, of South Portland, died unexpectedly on Feb. 3 at Maine Medical Center.

He was born in Portland on Dec. 7, 1920, to Ernest H. Sr. and Ruth Smith. He grew up in the Munjoy Hill area and attended Portland schools. He graduated from Portland High School in 1938.

In 1939 he enlisted in the U.S. Army. During World War II he served in Africa and Europe, reaching the rank of sergeant in the 68th Antiaircraft Artillery Gun Battalion. He was very proud of his military service and later served in the National Guard.

He met the love of his life, Margaret, in 1942. They were married in 1945 and raised three daughters together. They were married for 54 years before she died in 1999.

Smith was a longtime employee of the U.S. Postal Service. He worked for many years on the trains sorting mail, and retired in 1977 as a rural mail carrier. Following his retirement, he began a new 25 year career as a funeral attendant, beginning at the former Hutchins Funeral Home on William Street in Portland.

Throughout his life, wherever he went, Smith always ran into someone he knew. He truly enjoyed being able to help others. He lived independently and was active until his death.

He was predeceased by his wife, Margaret; his parents; brother Howard Smith; two sisters, Priscilla Putnam and Helen Simonetti; great granddaughter Kaitlynn DeWever; and great grandson Justin Horton.

Smith is survived by his daughters, Sandra Hodgdon and her husband, Jonathan, of Gorham, Roberta Hutchins and her husband, Mark, of Scarborough and Karen Krenke and her husband, David, of Allentown, Pa.; nine grandchildren; 22 great grandchildren; three great-great grandchildren; brother, Barton Rich of Florida; sister, Nancy Tuttle of Portland; and several nieces and nephews.

Funeral services were held on Feb. 6. Interment with military honors was held at Forest City Cemetery in South Portland immediately following the service.

The family would like to thank the staff of the emergency department, special care unit and security at Maine Medical Center for their care and compassion during Smith’s final hours.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Smith’s name to the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital, Maine Medical Center, 22 Bramhall St., Portland, ME 04102.