Benjamin E. Smith, Sr., 81, of Nashville, Indiana, passed away Wednesday, November 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 his devoted wife of 60 years.
Ben was born on February 20, 1936 in Whitwell, Tennessee to Benjamin Herbert and Florence Virginia (Cope) Smith. He married Wanda R. Sartin, also of Whitwell, on November 10, 1957 in Whitwell. After graduating from Whitwell High School in 1954, he enlisted in the US Navy in August 1954. After serving 4 years, he enlisted in the US Air Force in August 1958, with the rank of Staff Sergeant, serving until his honorable discharge in February 1963.
Ben and Wanda relocated to Nashville, Indiana thanks to the Ralph Wooten (whom he met in the Navy) family. The entire Wooten family became their “Indiana Family” after leaving their own families in Tennessee.
Ben retired from Golden Operations in Columbus, Indiana 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; and 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 VA 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 these agencies.
Cremation rites have been accorded. A celebration a life will be planned at a later date.
Bond-Mitchell Funeral Home, 1682 State Rd. 135 North, Nashville, Indiana 47448 is entrusted with arrangements.
Online condolences may be given to the family at www.BondMitchellFuneralHome.com.