William Wayne Smith, who was known for much of his working career as W. Wayne Smith, died Saturday, June 4, 2022 at Naples Community Hospital North in Naples. FL. He was 95. Throughout his life Mr. Smith made friends easily and enjoyed their company. In the early years of his career he would invite colleagues over for a shrimp boil because, he said, you can't be formal while peeling shrimp on newsprint. More recently he was known for maintaining a long list of family, friends and acquaintances who received shipments of Georgia pecans at the holidays, leading to pecan pies and other treats throughout the following year.
Mr. Smith was born on Oct. 6, 1926 in Montgomery, AL the son of William Alton Smith and Cora Lee (Sterling) Smith. During the final years of World War II and the Korean War, he served as a Sonarman Second Class in the U.S. Navy. He joined the Otis Elevator Co. as a mechanic's helper after his return to Montgomery. He was on a service call in that city when he met Sara Carmichael, a registered nurse. They married in 1951 and had seven children before Mrs. Smith's death in 1979. Following Mr. Smith's promotions at Otis, the family moved to Jacksonville, FL in the late 1950s; to Livingston, N.J. in the early 1960s and then to West Hartford, CT in the late 1970s. Mr. Smith worked in the company's service sector throughout his career, which touched on projects ranging from the commuter escalator still in service in Hong Kong to many of the mid-century highrises in New York City. He retired in the late 1980s as the company's director of service for North America and became an expert witness, working for Otis and other major elevator companies.
During his later years with Otis, he met Linda Frasier of Westford, MA, who also worked for the company, and they were married in 1981. They traveled often during the early years of their marriage, learned to fly and enjoyed boating from their home on Cudjoe Key, FL. For more than 20 years they divided their time between that house and one in Wareham, MA. Then, in February 2021, they left the Keys for a new home in Bonita Springs, FL.
In addition to his wife, Mr. Smith is survived by his children; Mary Jude Smith and her husband, David O. Bailey, of Honolulu; Coleman Smith and his wife, Jane, of Bloomfield, CT; Angela Smith of Irmo, S.C.; Michael Smith of Cornelius, N.C.; Kevin Smith and his wife, Linda, of Canton, CT; John Smith-Horn and his wife, Lisa, of Ellington, CT and Loretta Worsham and her husband, Hodge, of Oakmont, PA; 11 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Mr. Smith also had what he always called his five "adopted" children: Chris and Coleen Hyldburg of Bourne, MA.; Sue Levy of Metuchen, N.J.; Jocelyn LeBarnes of Buena Vista, GA and Anneliese Dietrick of Big Pine Key, FL; two brothers, Clarence and Charles, and two sisters, Della Vee and Clara Nell, all of Montgomery, predeceased him.
A celebration of life will be scheduled at the family's convenience.
Donations in Mr. Smith's name may be made to the Salvation Army or to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, TN.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105
The Salvation Army