On Tuesday, November 29, 2022, Larry E. Smith, 86, of Granby, CT, passed away in his favorite field with his dear companion Kathy Lundin by his side. He was raised on the family farm in Iowa and had an ambition of becoming a pilot since he was born on November 1st, 1936, in Lewis, Iowa. He continued his education at Iowa State College, now Iowa State University, where he majored in aeronautical engineering and enlisted in the Air Force ROTC program after graduating from Lewis High School in 1954.
Through grit and determination, he graduated from Iowa State with his Bachelor of Science and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant serving for seven years active duty, and three years in the reserves, as a pilot with a search and rescue squadron earning over 10,000 hours of flight time in the process. He was stationed at Lackland, Spence, Laredo, Tinker, Eglin, and Dover Air Force Bases in the United States and in 1962, he and his family moved to Tripoli, Libya to Wheelus Air Force Base where he was stationed for three years. After returning Stateside, he moved to Portland, OR where he stayed until his honorable discharge as a Major.
Larry dedicated himself to his work and used his experience in the Air Force to earn a position at Pratt & Whitney Aircraft as an aeronautical engineer. He enjoyed a long career at Pratt & Whitney and settled in Granby, with his wife LaVerne and their two children, Diane and Paul. After his retirement from Pratt & Whitney, Larry who was never one to sit still, took a position with the Town of Granby, Department of Public Works in 1998. His supervisors soon realized that his commitment to “just mowing lawns” could be more and he was appointed as the lead transfer station employee in Granby. He loved his time at the Granby Transfer Station and through the process he got to know many of his fellow residents in Granby.
He loved all aspects of his job and worked there for another 22 years until his third retirement in 2020. His great joys in retirement were plotting his spring/summer mowing schedule, raking the leaves (tip: they aren’t going to pick themselves up) and complaining about that south wind. Even more than those things, he enjoyed hanging out and having coffee at local coffee shops with his friends Al and Randy. Larry was known for his infectious, consistent smile, his humble nature, and his enjoyment of the simple pleasures in life, his back field, spending time with the cows in his pasture, and being in nature. While he traveled the world flying in high speed, precision aircraft, he never boasted of his time in the military and enjoyed being just another guy in his small town in New England.
He would want it noted that he was a loving and proud Gramps to his granddaughter, Isobel. He leaves his spouse for over 50 years, LaVerne May Smith; his children, Diane Smith and her husband Wayne Hill, and Paul Smith all of Granby; his granddaughter whom he cherished, Isobel Katherine Hill and her husband Ra’anan Sistare of Charlotte, NC; his brother, Roy Alvin Smith and his wife Lorraine of Lewis, IA; and a nephew and a niece, Byron and Karen Smith both of Des Moines, IA.
He was predeceased by his parents, Frank Cecil and Velma Etta (Woodring) Smith. Stubborn, he consistently walked his own path. He did not believe in an afterlife, but he leaves behind a bunch of people who love him and are missing him. As one of Larry’s daughter’s friends so eloquently noted, “there is a glorious symmetry, dying in a wide-open field and being drawn to the sky as a young man…” A private burial is planned. In lieu of flowers please make donations to the Granby Ambulance Association, 1 Pegville Rd., Granby, CT 06035 or donate online at www.granbyambulance.org. Hayes-Huling & Carmon Funeral Home in Granby has care of the arrangements. For online condolences, please visit, www.carmonfuneralhome.com.