Theodore C. Smith Jr., 98, company owner

Posted: July 01, 2013

Theodore C. Smith Jr., 98, of Wayne, owner of a firm that makes machines for golf-course maintenance, died Monday, June 10, at home of pneumonia.

Born in Cincinnati, he moved with his family as an infant to Drexel Hill. In the second grade, he met Helen Hannan, his future wife. The two attended Upper Darby High School and the University of Pennsylvania together, and graduated from Penn in 1936.

The couple married in 1939 and lived in the Westgate Hills section of Havertown before moving to Wayne in 1950.

After a 15-year stint as a wool broker, Mr. Smith founded Smithco Inc. in 1967. The firm manufactures turf-maintenance equipment at production facilities in Kansas and Wisconsin. It is still in business in Wayne.

The company does business in the United States and around the world, particularly in Europe and Asia. Mr. Smith has frequently been recognized as a leader of the golf-course maintenance industry, his family said.

Mr. Smith gave up driving at age 94, but never really retired because he loved the business, his son Theodore C. III said. He worked the phone from home "and had his hand in it right to the end," his son said.

Since the 1950s, Mr. Smith and his relatives enjoyed summers at their home in Avalon, N.J. He was an avid golfer and a member of St. Davids Golf Club.

Surviving, besides his wife and son, is another son, Donald H.; a daughter, Cynthia Sharpe; 10 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren. A sister and grandson died earlier.

A memorial service will be at 10 a.m. Monday, July 1, at Wayne Presbyterian Church, 125 E. Lancaster Ave., Wayne, Pa. 19087. Burial was private.

Contributions may be made to the church or the Alzheimer's Association, Box 96011, Washington, D.C. 20090.

Condolences to the family may be offered at

Contact Bonnie L. Cook

at 610-313-8102 or

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