Harold Stribling Smith
October 10, 1928 – July 18, 2020
Harold S. Smith, 91, died July 18, 2020 in Pensacola, Florida, where he had resided since 1947. Harold was born Oct. 10, 1928, the youngest of 12 children, in Philadelphia, MS. His parents, Walter and Maggie Smith, preceded him in death as did his 11 siblings. Also preceding Harold in death were his first wife, Polly S. Nations, and his second wife, Sarah F. Smith, and stepson, Larry Huffman. Survivors include his daughter, Brenda S. Posey (Glenn) of Stapleton, AL; his son, Daniel L. Smith (Vicki) of Gallatin, TN; and his stepson, Duane Huffman (Linda) of Newton, NC. He is also survived by five grandchildren, Jennifer Smith of Nashville, TN, Matthew Smith of Nashville, TN, Courtney H. Saine (Bradley) of Newton, NC, Billy Huffman (Lindsey) of Catawba, NC and Steven Huffman (Leigh) of Charlotte, NC; many nieces, nephews, several great-grandchildren and numerous dear friends including special neighbors, Barbara and Bill Billingsley.
Harold attended school in Neshoba County, MS before coming to Pensacola at the age of 16 to enter the apprentice program at NAS Pensacola in the Naval Reworks field. He was employed at NAS until the early 1960s. During this time, he opened a marine electronics business with John and Teresa Alford, Two Way Radio & Electronics on Gulf Beach Highway. As his business grew, Harold ended his civil service job and relocated Two Way to the waterfront on South Palafox Street. His expertise in marine electronics placed him in demand along the Gulf Coast and into Mexico.
After years of running his successful small business, Harold sold the business. He and Sarah traveled throughout the western US only to head home and return to work in Navionics at Pensacola NAS for another decade.
Harold took great pride in his two children, Brenda and Danny. He could be seen cheering on Danny’s little league team, Florida Garbage, at the ballfield off Gulf Beach highway many weeknights and Saturday afternoons. And he was always ready to teach or share a craft or art project with Brenda and any neighborhood friends who wanted to join in. Harold had a creative mind that was captivating. He was a talented teacher and mentor. He tinkered as an inventor (such as building a small scanner that read paper money denominations for business people who were vision-impaired) and was a master of making something out of nothing. He was a visionary of sorts.
Harold was a firm believer in purposeful work. He filled his days with a positive spirit, a can-do attitude, and an enjoyable sense of humor. He was always ready to lend a hand. He taught Brenda and Danny the importance of having a hobby. Flying small planes over the coastal FL/AL area, a lifetime of Ham radios (W4PQW), emergency Civil Defense activities, square dancing and calling square dances, rock collecting and honing his lapidary skills, tinkering in silversmithing, and climbing to the top of competition after competition with his field trial beagles – all these things were pastimes that filled his life with pleasure and allowed him to live a full life. Harold was quite the Renaissance man.
Harold resided at Homestead Village Assisted Living in Pensacola for the three final years of his life. The care and caring, the respect and love he received from the caregivers and staff (especially in Building K) was remarkable. They became our family and we are forever grateful.
A private family gathering to share memories and begin this life on earth without this good man at our side was held July 23. A Celebration of Harold’s life will be held at a later date.
Signing off with Ham buddies over the years, “73” from W4PQW.
”A father is neither an anchor to hold us back, nor a sail to take us there, but a guiding light whose love shows us the way.”