Lee Roy Smith - Morris Nilsen Funeral Chapel

July 31, 1926 - December 2, 2018

Lee Roy Smith “Smitty” “Red” age 92, of Richfield, MN. Surrounded by his family and holding his wife’s hand at his bedside during his last days, Lee passed away peacefully on Sunday, December 2. He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Margaret “Peggy” (nee, Meissner); children, Dewey (Debra), William (Lynn), Mary (Thomas) Sapp, Peggy (Dave) Peterson; Roy (Kari), Walter (Leslie); sister-in-law, Mary Jane Hall; grandchildren, Darcie (Nick) Cline, Lee (Jamie) & Rachel (Ben) Pierce, Matthew (Jennifer), Jennifer (Brian) Podany & Lisa (Trevor) Nolte, Matthew, Jeremy, Brandon, Jordan & Peter Burch, Thomas (Sophia), Johnathan (Karissa) & William Sapp, Daniel & Autumn Peterson, Alison & Grace, Spencer & Shelby and Alex Glattly; great-grandchildren, Courtney, Riley, Preston, Bryson, Annabel, Olivia, Parker, Corbin, Kayana, Luella, Finnegan, Isla Ellen and Christian Lee. Preceded in death by his parents, Dewey Otis & Edna May (nee, Hayhurst) Smith; brothers, Charles, Jack & Dewey John; daughter-in-law, Kathleen Smith. He was born in Claude, Texas on July 31, 1926 and raised in Tecamseh, Oklahoma – where he was known as “Red”. His parents owned the town grocery store with all the candy and supplies you could need. They had the 1st ball park around for miles. His love of pecans came from the trees they had planted in front of the store. He told stories about hunting on his way to school with his beagle dog. A US Navy veteran from 1942-1964. Lee served on the USS Nitro ammunition ship in WWII, Korean War and Vietnam War. He became a longtime member of the USS Nitro Association. He continued his naval career a Chief Fireman at the MPLS Naval Air Station. Lee worked at Control Data for 23 years. He was a handyman at WPBC Christian Radio Station and Wooddale Church in Richfield. Lee and Margaret travelled together to 49 states. Every summer with the children growing up they went to Ohio and Oklahoma for family visits. Lee loved the outdoors. He enjoyed hunting and fishing with his children and grandchildren. He was an avid artist, cook and seamstress. He always kept his hands busy doodling, tinkering and whittling. Margaret and Lee both said “I Do” again and celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary by renewing their vows at Fort Snelling Chapel in October 2018. It was a memorable day for the bride, groom and family. His select hearing was laughed upon but he indulged his sweet tooth and food cravings, spoke with quick wit and smart remarks until the very end. He will definitely keep the angels busy but be sorely missed here on earth. Love U – Dad - Grandpa - Pops! Forever! God please welcome him.

Memorials may given to Loaves and Fishes, V.A. Cancer Hospice or USS Nitro Assn.


  1. Tom Sapp says:

    I miss you, Grandpa. So much. There are so many memories I have with you and our time together I will forever cherish. Courage, love, toughness, humor, and compromise are attributes you shared with our family and everyone in your life. I know you’re filling up a 5-gallon bucket of sunnies in heaven. Love you, BD Poppy. Tommy

  2. On behalf of Sue, myself and the members of the USS Nitro Association, please accept our sincere condolences on the passing of Lee. He was not only a member but a friend to everyone in our Association. Seeing him, Margaret along with 11 other AE-2 (WW2) sailors renewing their friendship after 50+ years apart at our 1999 Philadelphia reunion is a memory that will live with me forever. With smiles and kind words, the room always seemed to light up when he and Margaret were there. Smitty was most definitely one of a kind and we will all miss him. Rest easy shipmate, we have the watch!

  3. Bob Eberlein says:

    Carol and I send our heart felt condolences to Margrit and the whole Smith Family. It was good to meet some of our World War Two crew members of the USS Nitro AE-23 at the Cherry Hill reunion. Sadly most of them are now part of the heavenly crew. Lee and my wife joked around and he seemed to have a two dollar on him at the reunions. A sailor’s fare to Lee, may he have fair winds and following seas. Rest in peace shipmate.
    Bob Eberlein
    Founder USS Nitro AE-2/AE-23 Association

  4. Robert Eberlein says:

    My wife and I would like to send our deepest condolences to the Smith Family. Lee will be missed at the future reunions. At least he had some reunions with his fellow World War Two crew members and relived the time they served aboard the USS Nitro AE-2. A sailors send off, may he have fair winds and following seas. Rest in peace.
    Founder USS Nitro AE-2/AE-23 Association

  5. Bob Eberlein says:

    My wife and I send our deepest condolences to the Smith Family. We will miss Lee at the future reunions. At least Lee and his fellow World War Two crew members had some time during the reunions to relive their time aboard the USS Nitro AE-2. May he have fair winds and following seas. Rest in peace.
    Bob Eberlein
    Founder-vice-president USS Nitro AE-2/AE-23 Association

  6. Michael T.Schumi says:

    To our long time friends Dewey and Deb and family.

    Ruth and I pass on our condolences on the passing of your father.

    I remember your dad when we would have the summer picnics at Chuck’s for the shop. We all had a great time and many great memories.

    I am sorry as time wouldn’t permit us joining your celebration of your father’s life.

    Sincerely, Mike and Ruth Schumi

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