Smith, Maj. Dennis Ray

Maj. Dennis Ray Smith, U.S. Army retired, former Lockheed Martin plant manager of the Lockheed Martin Pike County Alabama Operations, passed away June 19, 2011 at Spalding Regional Medical Center. He was from Covington, and was born Aug. 9, 1935 in Covington, to Flora Smith and Master Sgt. Dennis Alexander Smith, a career soldier who served in the second World War. He graduated from Newton County High School in Covington in 1952, and attended Emory University for two years before going to work for the FBI in 1954. He married his wife, the former Tessie Campbell of Stumptown, W.Va., in 1956 and is survived by her and two sons, Dennis in Whitman, Mass., and Darrell of Monroe County, Ga. He was preceded in death by his son David, who was killed in an automobile accident in 2007. Dennis was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1957 and served over 20 years, retiring in 1977 as a major in the Ordnance Corps and subsequently retired from Lockheed Martin in 1999. He continued his schooling while in the service and earned two bachelor’s degrees, one in business administration, and one in technical management, from Athens College, in Athens, Ala. He also attended the Florida Institute of Technology working on a master’s degree. While in the Army, he served tours of duty in Germany, Greece, Turkey, Thailand and Vietnam, as well as tours all over the United States. His primary assignments in the Army were in program management, procurement, nuclear weapons, missiles and ammunition. Among the awards and decorations received while serving in the Army were the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, two awards of the Joint Service Commendation Medal, two awards of the Army Commendation Medal, numerous service awards and several foreign decorations from the governments of Thailand and Vietnam. After retiring from the Army in 1977, he went to work in the aerospace industry where he held senior management positions with the Raytheon Company in Huntsville, Ala., and with Lockheed Martin at Redstone Arsenal, Ala., Orlando and Ocala, Fla., and finally as plant manager of the Lockheed Martin Pike County Operations in Troy, Ala. During his employment with Lockheed Martin, he was twice named to the top 100 employees in the company, and in 1995 was named Lockheed Martin Manager of the Year. During his tenure at Lockheed Martin Pike County Operations, his facility received numerous Department of Defense, industry, and state recognitions including: Industry Week’s “Top 10 Plants in America,” The Alabama Quality Award, The Alabama Teaming Award, The Department of Defense Industrial Security “Cogswell” Award, and many other awards in production, safety, quality, security, and recycling. He retired from Lockheed Martin in 1999. He was very proud to have been named “Pike County, Alabama Citizen of the Year” in 1996 by the Troy Citizen newspaper, and “Who’s Who’s in Aerospace” in 1997. He served as a member and officer of the Pike County, Ala., United Way, the Pike County Chamber of Commerce, and served on the Alabama Governor’s Commission on Aerospace, Science, and Industry. Dennis was very proud to have been associated with the Boy Scouts as both a boy and as an adult leader. He had over 40 years of service in the Boy Scouts, attaining the rank of Eagle Scout in 1952 and being awarded the coveted “Silver Beaver Award” as an adult in 1962. He relocated back to the Georgia area in January 2003 and attended People’s Baptist Church, where he served as a deacon and taught a Men’s Sunday School Class. In addition to his wife and sons, Dennis is survived by his brother, David Smith of Covington; three sisters, Mary Ella Bruce, Karlean Hester, and Jean Brizzi of Covington; three granddaughters, Stephanie Smith of Jackson, Samantha and Nicole Smith of Whitman, Mass.; and two grandsons, David and Douglas Smith of Orlando, Fla.; great-grandson, Nolan Jones, and great-granddaughter, Lila Davies, both of Jackson. Funeral services will be held Thursday, June 23 at the Chapel of Harwell Funeral Home with Dr. David McCoy and the Rev. Craig Holmes officiating. Interment will be held at the Covington City Cemetery. The family will receive friends at the funeral home from 6 to 8 p.m., on Wednesday, June 22. Harwell Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. www.harwellfuneralhome.com