Cover photo for Thomas  H. Smith's Obituary
Thomas  H. Smith Profile Photo
1946 Thomas 2023

Thomas H. Smith

1946 — November 15, 2023

Delmar:  Thomas H. Smith, 77, passed suddenly of cardiac arrest on November 15, 2023. He is survived by his wife of almost 55 years, Lorraine Chirico Smith, who along with her family, find comfort in the fact that Tom lived a long, fulfilling life, and contributed to the world in a multitude of ways as well as always finding enduring joy in his family.

Born in Rochester, NY, Tom was the son of the late Allen W. and Virginia Pitt Smith.  While still in elementary school, the family including both grandmothers, moved to Ormond Beach, Florida. Tom graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science and Masters in Electrical Engineering. There, as a President’s Honor Roll scholar, he belonged to several honor fraternities, including Phi Kappa Phi and Eta Kappa Nu, the international honor society for electrical engineers.  Joining by invitation only, membership is a lifelong designation for individuals who have distinguished themselves as students or professionals in electrical engineering.

It was during college that Tom began helping his father and brother who had started Contemporary Machine & Engineering Services, Inc. to construct new and refurbished heavy machinery for the railroad industry.

Tom became a dedicated technologist, excelling as both a professional and hobbyist and was an early pioneer in the realm of computers in controls and applications both in the utilization and software development. He continued his career in the Railroad Machine Tool industry and was on the forefront of applying modern control systems and computer automation into the production lines of its large machinery.

When Simmons Machine Tool Corporation of Menands, NY, offered Tom an executive position in 1979, he relocated his family, now including two young sons, to Delmar, NY.  At Simmons, he served over two decades as president expanding the company globally, including a World Bank funded project in China.  Also a trailblazer in early business ventures with China, he made over 80 trips there alone, often being the first Western person to enter areas earning him significant acclaim and attention. Despite his modest demeanor, Tom adeptly used charm and diplomacy during decades of international work trips with his passport touting over 300 stamps including Japan, Russia, India, Africa, Indonesia as well as Europe.

At home throughout the years,  he and Lorraine explored more than 150 National Park Sites beginning with their honeymoon and later with other members of their family, the most recent being their grandchildren. They also introduced their sons to downhill skiing at a young age with the family relishing numerous ski adventures, exploring the many mountain resorts of Northeast and later the West, as well as boating the canals of
New York.

After semi-retiring, Tom enjoyed both boating and RVing, consistently favoring the leisurely pace of road travel over flying.  He drove extensive distances, criss-crossing the USA to visit their adult sons and their families on both coasts, and other family members in California, Washington, Florida, and Connecticut, as well as various business sites along the way.

Tom never felt the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO.) Over the years during extended family vacations involving hiking, beaching, or biking, he contentedly provided logistical support even if he had no interest in the main activities. He always welcomed and embraced all family members, never limiting how many visited or duration of their stay. With great integrity, intelligence and humor, he became a source of wisdom, and his extended family sought his advice throughout his life.  .  In his lifetime, Tom achieved what we all aspire to do: Make the World a Better Place to Be.

In addition to his wife, Lorraine, he survived by his sons Stephen M. (Lena) Whippany, NJ; Michael Scott, (Jennifer) Belmont, CA; four grandchildren: Sienna, Sawyer, Liam, and Madeline with all with whom he loved to recite poetry, read and share movies together. Other survivors include his brother James A Smith, Ormond Beach, FL; sisters-in-law Julie Smith, Ormond Beach, FL; Gloria White, Sugar Hill, GA; as well as cousins, nephews, nieces, grandnephews and a grandniece.

A Celebration of Tom's Life will be held from Noon to 3 pm on Sunday, June 23, 2024 at Henry Hudson Park, 157 Lyons Road, Selkirk, NY 12158. Those interested in attending can email LCS12054@verizon.net or call 518-439-6437.  His family would greatly appreciate receiving letters or emails containing memories, stories.  Contributions in his memory may be made to the Friends of Bethlehem Public Library, 451 Delaware Ave., Delmar, NY. 12054.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Thomas H. Smith, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Upcoming Services

Celebration of Life

Sunday, June 23, 2024

12:00 - 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

If you wish to attend, please email at LCS12054@verizon.net or call 518-439-6437.

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