Landscapes 15

Marvin H. Smith

July 10, 1923 ~ May 28, 2023 (age 99) 99 Years Old


Marvin H. Smith began his 99 years in Yuma Arizona, born and raised. He was the only child of Sam and Hope Smith. Growing up, he had many adventures like swimming in the forbidden canal near his home and riding wild donkeys in New Mexico. 

Marvin entered the Army Air Force during WWII and received his pilot's wings on March 12, 1944, the same day he married Geraldine! As a young couple, they traveled across the country where he was stationed in Columbia, South Carolina and then it was off to Corsica.

Marvin flew missions out of Corsica over the Italian Alps, focusing on taking out strategic enemy infrastructure, like bridges and railways. He flew 40 missions in his B-25 Mitchell bomber and received the distinguished flying cross for his service. He served 28 consecutive years of active service including active reserve duty and earned the rank of Major.

Before entering the service, Marvin worked for Southern Pacific Railroad out of Yuma and returned to work for them after returning from the war in the San Jose yard office. He worked for the railroad for +/- 40 years and had a deep appreciation for locomotives and airplanes. He had numerous books and subscriptions on the topic of model railroad, locomotives, kit planes, war planes, etc. and was always ready to chat about different models and their features.

In his wife's later years, Marvin and Geraldine were very close sweethearts… playing cards together, reminiscing about old times, watching their favorite TV show (Perry Mason) and just being together.  At bedtime each night, Geraldine was serenaded by Marvin. She didn’t know he could sing but when he started singing to her, she was floored.  He added more and more songs to his repertoire and this is what helped her cope in her final days.

In recent years, Marvin continued to serenade his bride at Los Gatos Memorial. He still loved to play Black Jack, which he mostly won. He also played his version of solitaire (peeking under cards and playing out of order). He was a very funny guy and could make a joke out of almost anything. Looking through old pictures you can see his wry smile and evidence of his love and humor.

Marvin was a wonderful husband, father to Curt and Carol, grandpa to Jen, Mike and Michelle, and great grandpa to seven great grandkids. He was always calm and steady and worked hard to take care of his family.  Marvin leaves us all with a legacy of love, service, devotion, and humor. 



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