1938 - 2017
COOPERSTOWN - Edward C. Smith, owner of Smith-Cooperstown, Inc., died Saturday evening, January 21, 2017, at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown. He was 78.
A Native Son of Cooperstown, Ed was born March 23, 1938, at Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital, a son of Evelyn Amelia Wheeler of Cooperstown and Harry William Smith of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
After graduating from Manlius Military Academy, Ed attended Palm Beach Junior College and later graduated from the University of Miami with a bachelor's degree in business administration.
For many years he served as President and Owner of Smith-Cooperstown, Inc. He was also a strong supporter of the many public and private institutions, organizations and businesses in the area, and was always willing to offer advice and assistance where needed.
Chad Welch, a long-time employee and friend of Ed's, wrote a touching tribute to his mentor, which includes - in part - the following thoughts that eloquently sum up Ed Smith's life: "Ed was a reserved and humble man, never one for attention or ever seeking praise, as quiet about his many successes as he was of his considerable generosity. Ed would much rather rub elbows with race car fans at a backyard barbecue or clambake than mingle with socialites at banquets and black tie parties. His very best and closest friends were true salt-of-the-earth working class folks, and he most enjoyed the close company he kept with those of us who worked for him. My family, and our Smith-Ford family, lost a great boss, fatherly figure and friend."
Another colleague and friend has stated: "Ed was both a gentleman and a gentle man." He influenced and touched many people's hearts and lives and will always be remembered.
Ed is survived by his long-time partner and companion, Norma Onyan of Cooperstown; Norma's children that Ed considered his own, Louise Wayman of Toddsville, Gregory Onyan of Fly Creek and Terry Onyan and his wife, Wendy of Fly Creek; one sister, Rose Belle Smith Broeffle of Vero Beach, Florida; one brother, James D. Smith and his wife, Mary Jane, of North Hutchinson Island, Florida, and Norwich; one sister-in-law, Patricia Manley Smith of Norwich and Cooperstown; and numerous nieces and nephews as well as his extended family at Smith-Cooperstown, Inc. and a multitude of friends and acquaintances.
He was predeceased by one sister, Shirley S. McCabe; two brothers, Robert Frederick Smith and Harry William (Bill) Smith; and his brother-in-law, William Broeffle.
A Memorial Service will be offered at 2 p.m. Monday, January 30, 2017, in The Louis C. Jones Center in the Main Barn at The Farmers' Museum, 5775 State Highway 80,Cooperstown, with the Rev. Betsy Jay, Chaplain at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown, officiating.
Ed will be laid to rest later this Spring in Lakewood Cemetery, Cooperstown.
In lieu of flowers, Ed's family respectfully requests that those who wish to remember him through a memorial donation consider the following organizations: Friends of Bassett, 1 Atwell Road, Cooperstown, NY 13326; Cooperstown Fire Department, P.O. Box 1, Cooperstown, NY 13326; Cooperstown Emergency Squad, P.O. Box 322, Cooperstown, NY 13326; or Susquehanna Animal Shelter, 4841 State Highway 28, Cooperstown, NY 13326.
Arrangements are under the care and guidance of Martin H. Tillapaugh and Peter A. Deysenroth.