Wayne Burl Smith

Wayne Burl Smith, 2nd Lieutenant, USAF

September 5, 1932 – April 28, 2020

Resident of San Jose

Loving & caring Husband of Patsy Colleen Simmons from Marengo, Iowa married for 59 years. Steadfast Father to Tim and Tippi Smith, loving Father to Daughter-in-Law Gema Smith and devoted Grandfather to Andrew Smith. Wayne died peacefully from complications of Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

Wayne was born in Urbana, Iowa, a small town where dirt and gravel roads cut through the massive corn fields. He was the last child of 5 born to Walter & Ophal Smith. Wayne graduated from Urbana High School in 1950 and then attended Iowa State University graduating in 1954. Wayne enlisted in the US Air Force in 1954 and rose to the rank of 2nd Lieutenant piloting helicopters during the Korean Conflict.

Upon Wayne’s discharge in 1958, he landed at Moffett Field in Sunnyvale and was stunned by the beautiful weather. Like so many others who relocated to California during that time, he quickly changed his mind about his future. Wayne was able to get a job at Lockheed and on September 24, 1958 began one of the longest tenure’s in the company’s history – 36 years. Wayne took great pride in being an instrumental part of the Sub-Ballistic Nuclear Missile Programs. Wayne was a Lockheed man through and through.

On December 23, 1960 Wayne and Patsy drove to Las Vegas and were married at the Little Chapel of The Bells. They settled in Palo Alto and Tim was born on September 11, 1961. After moving to Los Gatos, Tippi would arrive on July 4, 1967. Wayne was very patriotic so it’s fitting that both his children were born on important days in American history.

In 1970, the family relocated to the Almaden where Wayne would spend the remainder of his life. Tim married Gema Salinas in 1992 and exactly one year later, Wayne’s greatest passion, his Grandson Andrew was born. Grandpa and Andrew were inseparable. They went everywhere and did everything together. Wayne never missed ANY of Andrew’s Sporting events all the way through High School. Wayne was able to see Andrew graduate from Pepperdine University Law School in 2015. No Grandpa was more devoted to his Grandson than Wayne. Andrew was his world.

Wayne and Patsy would have celebrated their 60th Wedding Anniversary this December. Wayne and Patsy held hands and kissed each other every morning and were side by side up to the day of his leaving.

Wayne will be forever in our hearts and minds. He has left us with indelible memories and examples to follow. Future generations of his family will benefit from us carrying on his legacy. We know that one day God will call our name to come home, and when we get there, Dad will be there with open arms. Dad’s service has been put on hold but the family is planning a celebration of his life at a later date.

View the online memorial for Wayne Burl Smith

Published by San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times on May 30, 2020.

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