2016-09-14 / Obituaries

Thomas Smith Jr.

Thomas Leyden Smith Jr., 86, of Margaretville died peacefully Friday, Sept. 9, 2016 surrounded by his loving family.

Born Monday, Sept. 1, 1930 in Margaretville to Leyden and Rose Smith, Tom shared a happy childhood with his younger brother, George. An upbringing in the beautiful Catskill Mountains provided Tom with lifelong friendships and the personal strength that shaped a man and continues to inspire those who walked beside him.

Tom graduated from Fleischmanns High School in 1949, and after trying out for the New York Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers decided to attend Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Tom, who had been a standout six-man football player for Fleischmanns High was a walk-on for a Big 10 national championship Wildcat football team playing offensive guard and defensive linebacker.

After school, Tom enlisted in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Germany during the Korean War years. After his military service, Tom returned to the Catskills and in 1954 married the love of his life, Dorissa Van- Benschoten of Margaretville. Together, Tom and Dorissa built a home on Breezy Hill Road in Fleischmanns where they raised two beautiful children, Carol and Gary.

Tom expanded his father’s fuel oil business to eventually own and operate Del Val Oil and the Bridge Street Gulf station in Margaretville where he could be found always with a hearty smile ready to help anyone who happened on this little corner of the world, friends and strangers alike.

Tom enjoyed the bounty of the Catskills Mountains best outdoor activities, skiing its slopes, fishing the streams and hunting her woods. One of Tom’s favorite places was Camp 13 astride Dry Brook Ridge, where he and a generational group of family and friends gathered to hunt, drink, and tell stories, a seasonal pilgrimage that carries on to this day.

A faithful parishioner at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Margaretville, Tom was also active in a broad range of civic organizations. His service included stints as president of Margaretville Hospital Board, Otsego Northern Catskills BOCES, Margaretville Central School Board of Education, a Paul Harris Fellow member representing the Margaretville Rotary Club, Upstate National Bank board member, and American Legion Post 216 commander. Tom was a founding member of the Margaretville ambulance squad in the late 1960s when a group of trained volunteers began serving the community, utilizing a donated station wagon as an ambulance to respond to emergencies throughout the region.

Tom Smith is survived by his children, Carol Cook and her husband James Cook of Atlanta, GA and Gary Smith and his wife Toni Smith of Margaretville; grandchildren Brent Smith of Margaretville, Lindsey and her husband Maxwell Mead of Accord; great-grandchildren Remy and Rex Mead; sister-in-law, Constance Smith of Brooklyn; nephews, John Hubbell of Margaretville, Jeff Hubbell of Houston, TX; niece, Valerie Smith of Jersey City, NJ; and nephew, Greg Smith of Brooklyn.

Tom is predeceased by his beloved wife of 60 years, Dorissa Smith; his father, Thomas Leyden Smith; his mother, Rose Smith; his brother George Smith; his brother-in-law, William Hubbell and his sister-in-law, Dolores Hubbell.

Visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 16 at Hynes Funeral Home in Margaretville.

Tom’s Funeral Mass will begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 17 at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Margaretville followed by a gravesite ceremony at the Clovesville Cemetery and reception at the Inn Between restaurant in Arkville.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made in Tom’s name to American Legion Post 216, 903 Main St, Margaretville, New York, 12455, (845) 586-3466; Margaretville Central School Booster Club; Delaware County Hospice and Palliative Care, 116 Main St, Delhi, NY 13753, (607) 746-2668.

Funeral arrangements are entrusted to the Hynes Funeral home, Margaretville.

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