George Edward Smith, lifelong Bristol resident, passed away peacefully on Saturday, November 9 at UVM Medical Center in Burlington at the age of 93. He was born in Bristol on May 26, 1926 to Edward and Grace (Lane) Smith. Upon graduating from high school, he enlisted in the Navy and served during World War II. On February 16, 1947 he married Doris “Dot” D’Avignon. They were married 55 years when she died of cancer in 2002.
George’s love of trains stemmed from his work for the Rutland Railroad for many years. Upon leaving the Railroad, he became a rural mail carrier for the Shelburne Post Office where he worked until his retirement. George devoted many years to the Town of Bristol, serving as Village Trustee and Delinquent Tax Collector. In later years he “officiated” at the dump every Saturday up until it closed in 2015. He thoroughly enjoyed in being able to visit with everyone that came and always kept a box of dog biscuits to feed to the dogs. George knew everyone—and if he didn’t know you he’d be sure to find out!
George was a proud member of the Bristol Fire Department for 63 years and took delight in riding in the Fourth of July parade in one of the trucks—especially the old ’36. He was a charter member of the Old Pharts Coffee Club that originally convened at the bakery every morning; eventually moving to Cubbers where it still meets every morning. He was an avid cribbage player and looked forward to the monthly cribbage nights at the Masonic Hall. In recent years, he “volunteered” at Project Independence, but was most proud of the acting he did as a cowboy in commercials for the H-Team, amongst others.
George remained active in the community, even after he was no longer able to drive. He was extremely interested in history—especially family history and liked to take trips to Bridgewater to see where his father grew up. He kept up on the local high school sports teams and liked to attend basketball and baseball games at Mt. Abe. He was a Boston Red Sox fan and looked forward to watching the games on TV with his cat, Ortiz.
He is survived by his children, Larry and Sheri Smith, Jane and Reg Dearborn, Nancy and Everett Lee, Joan Smith, Jean and Gary Russell, Terry and Joe Michel, and Denise Smith; his grandchildren, Tracey Smith, Shawn and Melissa Smith, Sarah Smith and partner Liz Hammer, Melissa and Mike Strong, Mary Dearborn and fiancé Nick Thomas, Karen Dearborn, Heather and Robert Waller, Ben Lee, Lane and Chris Russell-Boucher, Coleman Russell, Jake, Dan, and Drew Michel; and great-grandchildren, Delaynah Leavitt, Saebryn Carter, Hailey, Emma and Jack Waller, Bella Smith, and Odin and Finley Strong and honorary family members Laura Smith and Gajan Haas. He also leaves behind his special friend, Nilene Farnsworth as well as his brother-in-laws, Jim D’Avignon and his wife Pat, John Shandrow, and Rita Armell and many, many nieces and nephews. In addition to to his parents and his wife, he was predeceased by his sons, Mickey Smith and Stephen Smith, and his brother, Charlie Smith.
Calling hours will be Wednesday, November 13 from 4:00 to 7:00 at Brown-McClay Funeral Home in Bristol. The funeral will be Thursday, November 14 at 10:00 at St. Ambrose Catholic Church in Bristol with interment to follow as he takes his final ride in the old ‘36 to St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Bristol. A reception will follow at St. Ambrose. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to NH Munsill, Hose, Hook & Ladder Co., 79 West Street, Bristol, VT 05443.