Benjamin E. Smith Sr., 81, of Nashville, passed away Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017, in Brown County Health and Living Community after a short stay, but a long and courageous battle with dementia.
Prior to his stay at BCH&L he was lovingly cared for by Wanda, his devoted wife of 60 years.
Ben was born Feb. 20, 1936 in Whitwell, Tennessee, to Benjamin Herbert and Florence Virginia (Cope) Smith. He married Wanda R. Sartin, also of Whitwell, on Nov. 10, 1957 in Whitwell. After graduating from Whitwell High School in 1954, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy in August 1954. Serving four years, he then enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in August 1958, with the rank of staff sargent, serving until his honorable discharge in February 1963.
Ben and Wanda relocated to Nashville thanks to the Ralph Wootton (whom he met in the Navy) family. The entire Wootton family became their “Indiana family” after leaving their own families in Tennessee.
Ben retired from Golden Operations in Columbus in February 1998 after 35 years. He thoroughly enjoyed his retirement, spending many hours in the woods of Brown County, hunting – his favorite pastime.
Ben was a problem solver. Having a sharp mind, he enjoyed any electrical or mechanical problem: He could fix anything. He found joy in teaching others a few of the many skills he possessed. Just ask the many friends and family members he has helped throughout the years.
Ben is survived by his wife, Wanda R. Smith; his daughter, Cindy Smith (Chuck) of Nashville; his daughter-in-law, Denise Harter of Jeffersonville; his grandchildren, Eric Smith of Nashville, Spencer Smith (Rosemary) of Evanston, Illinois; a great-granddaughter who will arrive in April 2018; four sisters-in-law; and one brother-in-law.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Emily Smith; his father and mother-in-law, Ernest F. and Lucille A. Sartin; and his son, Benjamin E. Smith, Jr.
The family would like to thank the doctors, staff and caregivers of the Roudebush V.A. Medical Center Indianapolis; Just Friends Adult Day Center in Columbus; Hospice of South Central Indiana; Brown County Veterans Service Office; and Brown County Health & Living. There are too many names to list here with our thanks for the care, concern and compassion shown during Ben’s long journey, but you know who you are.
Memorial contributions may be made to any of the agencies just named.
Cremation rites have been accorded.
A celebration a life will be at a later date.
Bond-Mitchell Funeral Home, 1682 State Road 135 North, Nashville, IN 47448, is entrusted with arrangements.
Online condolences may be given to the family at BondMitchellFuneralHome.com