Richard Carrol Smith died Sunday, January 16, 2022 at the Evergreen Health & Rehab Center in Winchester, VA. He was born on August 31, 1936 in Ada, Oklahoma and moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1946 where his family settled. He was a member of the Choctaw Nation and was extremely proud of his Indian heritage as a descendant of Chief Turnbull who walked the Trail of Tears in 1833.
Richard graduated from Tulsa Central High School in 1954 where he took part in football and wrestling. He loved the outdoors and spent summers as a counselor and camp director for the local YMCA Camp Takatoka. He attended Rice University for 3 years before transferring to Tulsa University where he received his undergraduate and Masters in mathematics.
Richard began his Navy career in 1961 with almost five years of active duty during which he completed two Pacific Ocean deployments on the aircraft carrier, USS Coral Sea, before being transferred to Washington, DC to assist the Navy with computer integration. Richard loved the Navy and continued as a reserve Naval officer until his retirement as a United States Navy Commander in July 1983. While in the Navy reserves, Richard was also employed by IBM in Washington DC for 31 years as a Systems Engineer until his retirement in January 1997. It was in DC that Richard met his wife, Grethe Jepsen, whom he married in Aarhus, Denmark on September 13, 1964. They lived in DC until they settled in Chevy Chase, MD in 1978. They were both active members of the metropolitan area Danish Club for 40 years where Richard fulfilled many duties including club treasurer. In December 2017, they moved to Winchester, VA to live closer to their son, Kim, and his family.
Richard was preceded in death by his father, Burly Richard Smith; mother, Frankie Margaret Flinchum Smith Redfoot, and step-father, Don McGarr Redfoot.
Richard is survived by his wife, Grethe Jepsen Smith, of Winchester, VA; son, Kim Bjorn Smith, and daughter-in-law, Agnes Konopa Smith, of Stephenson, VA; granddaughter, Madeline Querney Smith, of Stephenson, VA; sister, Susan Adele Sample, and brother-in-law, Joe Sample, of Dallas, TX; and his step-brother, Larry Don Redfoot and wife, Suzanne Redfoot, of South Carolina.
A visitation for Richard will be Friday, January 28, 2022 at 1pm with a memorial service to follow at 2pm, all held at Omps Funeral Home, Amherst Chapel. Interment will be private.
Memorial contributions may be made in Richard’s memory to: Danish Seamen’s Church, 102 Willow St. Brooklyn, NY 11201.