MACHIAS – Keith M. Smith, 87, died May 10, 2013, after a long battle with congestive heart failure. He was born Sept. 5, 1925, in Jonesport, the son of the late Melvin C. and Bessie (Preston) Smith.
Keith spent the last few months of his life at Winterberry Heights, Bangor. He was a successful businessman in Machias and retired in his late 70s. In spite of his prolonged illness, he had a strong will to live for his family and took pleasure in meeting several great-grandchildren before he died. Mr. Smith was a veteran of the U.S. Merchant Marines, having served from December 1941 to August 1945. An accomplished seaman, he navigated ships around mines as well as steered the vessels clear of obstructions going into and exiting harbor ports. He served on the S.S. Samuel Mitchell, the S.S. Berkshire and the S.S. Hampden. His children and grandchildren loved to hear about his adventures and Keith loved to tell them. Keith was an avid hunter and, even when he could no longer walk through the woods, he had a special permit to shoot from his truck. In the fall of 2012, he went with his sons on an expedition that landed a 1,000 pound moose, something that meant the world to Keith. He owned and operated Smith’s Service Station, was a fur dealer, used car dealer and owned a recycling business and several rental properties. He was a corporator at Machias Savings Bank, 1978-1997. He had a very strong work ethic and was greatly respected for his generosity and kindness to all, regardless of their position in life. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge for 66 years. Keith considered Machias Valley Baptist his church home and greatly enjoyed listening to preaching on TV when he was no longer able to leave his house. Having agreed with God that only through Jesus could he go to heaven, Keith trusted in God’s provision for salvation. He often stated, “I know where I’m going when I die.” He was a strong man of faith in his later years. The family knows that even in death, Keith is now very much alive with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Keith was predeceased by his siblings, Gerald Smith, Hazel Reynolds, Eleanor Robinson, Myrtle Scott and Basil Smith. Keith is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Barbara L. (Bean); daughter, Pamela Rasmussen of Florida and husband, Paul, and their children, Barbara Engaldo and husband, Andrew, of Florida, Sheri Myers and husband, Earle, of Mexico, Wade Rasmussen and wife, Donna, of Zambia and Kristi Babb and husband, Scott, of Arkansas; son, Gregory Smith of Machias and his son, Matthew Smith and wife, Jennifer, of Marshfield; son, Stephen Smith of Machias and significant other, Carolyn Hendricks, and his children, Sara Devine and husband, Shawn, of Winterport and Melissa Smith of East Machias; son, Christopher Smith of Bangor, and wife, Danette, and their children, Christopher Smith and wife, Megan, of Hancock, Nick Smith and wife, Alex, of Washington, Erik Smith and wife, Ericka, of Jonesboro; and daughter, Kelli Okyere of Brewer and husband, Stephen, and children, Tyler Dean and wife, Kanaho, in China, Asia, Kaylee Dean of Brewer and Stephen, Samuel and Kathryn Okyere of Brewer; former daughters-in-law, Kathy Smith of Marshfield and Linda Smith of Cutler, remained a part of Keith’s life. Keith is also survived by 20 great-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Visiting hours will be 5-7 p.m. Monday evening, May 13, at Bragdon Kelley Funeral Home, Machias. A funeral will be held 2 p.m. Tuesday, May 14, at Machias Valley Baptist Church, with Pastor Wayne Buza officiating. Interment with military honors will be immediately afterward at Great Cove Cemetery, Roque Bluffs, across from the golf course. A celebration of life reception will be held at Machias Valley Baptist Church gymnasium after the interment. In lieu of flowers, gifts may be sent in memory of Keith M. Smith to Hal Lindsey Ministries, P.O. Box 470470 Tulsa, OK 74147-0470, or you may give online at www.hallindsey.com, or Machias Valley Christian School, 8 Broadway, Machias, ME 04654. Condolences may be sent to the family of Keith M. Smith at www.bragdonkelley.com.