The People's Tribune

Lawrence Abner Smith Sr.

Lawrence Abner Smith, Sr., died Saturday, June 9, 2018.

Graveside services were held at 1 p.m., at Mt. Lebanon Cemetery in St. Ann.

Visitation was Saturday from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., at Alexander-White-Mullen Funeral Home in St. Ann.

He was born Jan. 16, 1921 to Abner Dee Smith and Laura L. Smith in New Mexico. He married the love of his life, Judith Evellynn Roberson on Dec. 22, 1942. They were married 75 years, until she preceded him in death on Feb. 25, 2018. Together, they had nine children, 27 grandchildren, 27 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

Survivors include seven sons, Lawrence A. Smith, Jr. and wife, Mary; Ronald E. Smith and wife, Sheilah; Samuel L. Smith and wife, Janet; Kenneth D. Smith; David F. Smith and wife, Crystal; Daniel F. Smith and wife, Susan; Randall L. Smith and wife, Marsha; and a daughter, Laura Ann Karmi and husband, Robert.

From humble origins as an open range cowboy on a cattle and sheep ranch, Lawrence pursued his education through Ft. Sumner schools and New Mexico State University, served in the U.S. Navy and ended a 39 year career with McDonnell Douglas Corporation as Vice President, Aircraft Engineering MCAIR division.

Lawrence had a storied career with McDonnell Douglas. Of the many programs he supported, he felt his leadership in engineering the wing design of the F-4 Phantom II and his critical guidance as engineering director in the design, development and production of the AV-8B Harrier for the U.S. Marines were his greatest accomplishments.

He was an AIAA Associate Fellow and received the AIAA Aircraft Design Award, AIAA Technical Management Award, Paul E. Hauefer Memorial Award for Aircraft Engineering, New Mexico State University Centennial Distinguished Alumni, and was inducted into the 1994/1995 class of Who’s Who of Science and Engineering.

Lawrence was preceded in death by his parents; wife; sister, Virginia Bessom; daughter, Rena Susan Watts; and grandson, Gregory Daniel Smith.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Smith family and memorials may be made to the New Mexico State University School of Engineering.

Donations may be made to New Mexico State University School of Engineering

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