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George R. Smith

Obituary for George R. Smith

February 6, 1933 - June 18, 2020
Manchester, New Hampshire | Age 87

Obituary

George R. Smith, 87, of Manchester, passed away peacefully on June 18, 2020, at Catholic Medical Center following a period of declining health.

Born in New London on February 6, 1933, he was the son of George S. and Evelyn I. (Stevens) Smith. For the first 15 years of his life, George lived in Grafton, Canaan, and Lebanon. While in Grafton, he and his two brothers, Willard and Richard, attended one of the state's last one-room schoolhouses.

In 1948, George and his family moved downstate to Manchester's East Side on Hosley Street. He would become the first (and only) member of his family to earn a high school diploma, graduating from Manchester High School Central in 1951. While at Central, George was a member of the cross-country and track teams.

Two years later, in 1953, George joined the United States Army, and, following basic training at Camp Atterbury in Indiana, went to Germany for the remainder of his hitch to serve as part of the Mutual Security Act. He earned the rank of E-7 before being honorably discharged in 1955.

After returning stateside, George worked at the Rockingham Racetrack in Salem for a short stint before embarking on his lifetime career in 1956 as an equipment installer for the New England Telephone and Telegraph Company. Known for his reliability, work ethic, and willingness to travel, he stayed with the company through all of its various incarnations for 56 years before retiring from Verizon in 2012 at the age of 79. He was a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 2320.

During his earlier work years, George played on the company slo-pitch softball team as a pitcher. His team, known informally as "TelCo," won the Manchester City League Championship in 1974.

It was also in 1974 that George joined the Youngsville Junior Baseball League's fledgling Minor League program as a coach. This association with the YJBL would last nearly two decades, a time in which he, along with a group of highly-dedicated and caring volunteers, took the league from a tiny one-field, one-level entity serving 90 children to a full-fledged, four-field operation that had at its peak over 400 youngsters involved in four levels of independent youth baseball along with Pop Warner football and Pop Warner cheerleading. George went on to serve on the YJBL's Board of Directors for many years and eventually became a manager in the Major League, mentoring dozens of children along the way. His proudest moments as a baseball manager were league championships won in 1981 as Youngsville Supermarket and 1984 as Butcherman's Market.

Away from the youth diamond, George liked to relax by taking long walks in the woods. When his sons were young, he would sometimes take them to family land in Grafton to hike and pick wild mushrooms. In his later years, George liked spending time with friends at the Auburn Pitts in Auburn.
Over the last three years, he lived at the Meetinghouse in Manchester, where he enjoyed playing cards and met many new friends.

His interests involved history, family genealogy, country music, and following the local sports teams.

George was predeceased by his parents and his two brothers, Willard H. Smith (1962) and Richard P. Smith (2016).

His family includes three sons, Gary Smith and his companion, Kathy Hynes, of Watertown, Mass.; Tom Smith and his wife, Colleen, of Manchester; and Greg Smith and his wife, Sylvie, of Goffstown; three grandchildren, Ashley Smith of Manchester; Kaitlin Smith and her companion, Ian Staples, of Chester, Vt.; and Nate Smith of Goffstown; a step-grandson, Billy O'Connell of Morrisville, NC; and nieces, nephews, and cousins.

The family would like to thank Dr. Tim French and the staff at Catholic Medical Center for the excellent care George received in his final months.

SERVICES: Because of COVID-19 restrictions, services will be private. Lambert Funeral Home, 1799 Elm St. in Manchester, is handling the arrangements. Burial will be in Mount Calvary Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in George's memory to www.chadkids.org and www.nationalmssociety.org.

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Lambert Funeral Home & Crematory

1799 Elm St
Manchester, NH 03104
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