Colonel Duane Howard Smith, Ret.

November 15, 2020
Colonel Duane Howard Smith, Ret.

Colonel Duane Howard Smith, Ret, died on November 15th, 2020 at Patriots Colony, Williamsburg, Virginia.  He was born on June 3rd, 1928 in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, son of Paul Linwood Smith and Dorothy Palmer Smith. He attended elementary and middle school in North Smithfield, RI. His family moved to Long Island, New York during World War II and Duane attended Garden City High School.  He graduated in 1945 and was appointed to the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY by Senator Theodore Francis Greene. He was commissioned on his 21st birthday in 1949.

Duane married Jean Elizabeth Sommerville of Philadelphia in 1950 with whom he had three daughters.  He served two years in the Army Corps of Engineers followed by 25 years in the Army Transportation Corps.  During this time he served in Korea and in Vietnam. He also had assignments in Germany and the United Kingdom, where he was accompanied by his family. He served three tours at Fort Eustis, Virginia, where he was Brigade Commander in his final tour. He had three assignments at the Pentagon in the offices of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

After retirement from the Army, Duane settled in Arlington, Virginia with his family and became a certified financial planner. He retired from his second career in 2005 and he and Jean moved to Patriots Colony in Williamsburg, Virginia. In retirement he pursued his interest in family history and wrote and published a history of his 1710 family homestead in Rhode Island.

Col. Smith is survived by his wife Jean, and daughters Shelley Miller, (Benton), Carolyn Purks, (Martin), and Brooke Potthast, (John), nine grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at a later date. Contributions may be made in his name to the Alzheimers Association.

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