Arthur Leslie Smith
Oct 23, 1924 – Sep 10, 2016
Arthur Leslie Smith
October 23, 1924 – September 10, 2016
Arthur Leslie Smith was born in Seattle, WA on October 23, 1924 to James D. and Lelia Orr Smith. He grew up in SW Seattle and attended schools there. At age 16, he decided school was a waste of time so he quit and went to work to help support the family.
He served an apprenticeship in auto mechanics and was a journeyman mechanic by the time he was 19. He was inducted into the US Army in December 1943 in CA. He was in the motorpool because of his training and his poor eyesight kept him from combat duties. He was sent to England, headed for France. He stepped off a bus, in a blackout in London and was hit by a motorcycle. His leg was broken so he returned to the US on the Queen Mary. He was hospitalized in New Orleans and then worked in the hospital there. Later he was stationed in San Francisco until his discharge in May 1946. He met and married Betty June McDonald in May 1946. After his separation from the Army, they returned to Seattle. Betty June died in 1953. Art was encouraged by two brothers-in-law to join the sheet metal union. He did that in 1947 and was a member for 69 years, retiring in 1988. He worked for Argo Blower & Mfg for 40 years installing large collector systems in sawmills and other places that had needed to collect dust and debri from their jobs.
He met “the girl across the street” Marie Tabor in 1956. They were married on October 20, 1956. Their son, Brian, was born in 1958. Art built his first house, from salvaged materials, on 28th Avenue SW. In 1965, they moved to Renton, where they built “their dream home”. After Art’s retirement, in 1988, they sold that house and built their present retirement home on Talbot Road. In 1960, Art and his friend, Joe Allen decided they would like to try building a pick-up camper. They hunted the sales lots, looking at the manufactured ones, took measurements and then went home and built a camper. Later they built another so the two families could enjoy camping together. Later, they sold kits to others who wanted to build their own camper. Many weekends and vacations were spent fishing, hiking and beachcombing.
Art and Marie were members of the Good Sam Club from 1974 to 2005 and spent many campouts with the Valley Good Sam Drifters. They also made numerous trips to Minnesota to visit Marie’s family, enjoying the many interesting places between WA and MN. Art and Marie celebrated their 25th anniversary in Hawaii and their 50th in Mississippi.
Art is survived by his wife, Marie, his son, Brian and many friends. Art was preceded in death by his parents, his brother and four sisters. Art was a man of many talents and was always ready to learn something new. He was generous with his time and ready to lend a hand wherever he saw the opportunity. He was also a “collector” and he loved auctions and the old Boeing outlet store.
A graveside service for Art will be held Monday, September 19th at 1:00pm at Bonney-Watson Washington Memorial, followed by a reception in Washington Memorial’s Chapel.
This obituary is provided by Bonney-Watson, providing caring and compassionate funeral, cremation and cemetery services since 1868. We have a professional staff, four funeral homes, two cremation facilities and one of the largest cemeteries south of Seattle, as well as a comprehensive grief support program.