Sgt. Maj. George Raymond "Squirrel" Smith, 85, passed away peacefully at 11:16 p.m. Friday, Dec 15, 2017, at St. Vincent Hospital, surrounded by his loving family. He was born Aug. 30, 1932, to George Raymond (Ray) and Ivah Mae (Wood) Smith. George was later adopted by Harold Allen Smith from Ivah's second marriage.
George grew up in Kokomo, attending and graduating from Kokomo High School in 1951. In 1956 he married Margaret Ann Thieke and together they had three children, but divorced in 1977. He then married Sara K. Rabb in 1982; they were together until she succumbed to cancer in 2014.
George enlisted in the United States Army and served in the 3rd Armored Division and the 2nd Armored Division. After that he served in the Indiana National Guard 38th Infantry Division. His combined military service was 41 years. George had many decorations and commendations. He served in Europe during the Korean War, received jungle training in Panama and served in Germany. He also served during the Vietnam War. George's last duty assignment was as sergeant major for the Recruiting and Retention Program. He retired from active duty Aug. 30, 1992. At that time, he received a letter of commendation from President George W. Bush. He was also honored by the Legion of Hoosier Heroes.
Out of all the awards he received, he was most proud of the Sagamore of the Wabash, presented to him by Gov. Evan Bayh at his retirement. After retirement, he was contracted by the Military Department of Indiana as a consultant to the State Recruiting and Retention Program. The Indiana Army National Guard named the gymnasium in the Kokomo Armory after him.
George was very active in youth sports, coaching Little League and flag football. He was also a referee for high school basketball. He played basketball for the Indiana National Guard and fast-pitch softball for Punchy's and the Eagles. He also raced go-carts for a brief time. George was a member of the American Legion, Eagles, Moose, Masons, and Ibn Saud Grotto.
George loved to golf, fish and work in his yard. He detailed his cars to look brand new and was an avid joke teller. He made sure he attended all the grandkids' and great-grandkids' activities, sometimes hurrying from one to make another. He loved watching them all at whatever they were doing.
In addition to his parents and wife, George was preceded in death by his sister, Marilyn Mae Montgomery, and brother-in-law, Dwain Montgomery.
George is survived by his children, Tamara Ann (Jack) Reynolds, Greg Alan (Lisa) Smith, and Amy Michele Heath; stepchildren, John Dustin (Greta) Lytle and Mike David (June Frank) Lytle; brothers, Richard L. (Mary) Smith and Robert J. (Carolyn) Smith; a very special cousin, Cari Smith; 13 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; many nieces and nephews; and many lifelong friends.
Family will receive friends Thursday, Dec. 21 at Sunset Memory Garden Funeral Home, 2097 W. Alto Road, Kokomo, IN 46902 from noon to 3 p.m. and again from 5 to 9 p.m. Funeral service will be Friday, Dec. 22, at the Kokomo National Guard Armory, 315 E. Markland Ave., Kokomo, IN 46902. Visitation will begin at 11 a.m. and service at noon, to be officiated by the Rev. Paul Enochs. To leave condolences, visit www.sunsetmemorygarden.com.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Shriners Hospital for Children, Attn: Office of Development, 2900 N. Rocky Point Drive, Tampa, FL 33607.
Published on December 18, 2017