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Joseph Francis Smith Born October 26th, 1931 in Pittsburgh, PA. - Passed on April 10th, 2021 in Plantation, FL.
Joe (or Joey as his family knew him) passed away peacefully after a recent hospitalization. He is survived by the love of his life and wife of nearly 65 years, Rose (Ostroska), daughters Donna (John) Higgins, Dolores Smith, grandkid Sami Higgins, sister Carol (Steve) Hill and two grandcats (Kassie and Kiki) along with numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins across the country. Joe was preceded in death by his parents Joseph Sr. and Anna (Gildea), 2 brothers, James and John and 2 grandcats.
Born in Pittsburgh, PA, Joe served in the United States Air Force 1951 – 1955 which included tour to Guam in the Pacific. After serving his country, he joined Eastern Airlines as an A & P mechanic in Miami, FL. While in Miami, he attended Engineer school earning his Flight Engineer License which became the platform for the rest of his career working for several air carriers. In 1965 he was presented an opportunity to work for Saudi Arabian Airlines based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. This lead to the great adventure, where he, Rose, Donna and Dolores lived in the Middle East and travelled the world until 1977. Upon their return to the U.S.A. the family settled in Miami, FL where Joe continued flying for several air carriers until his retirement in 1999. During his career, he trained many fellow engineers entering the aviation industry. He was widely respected for his knowledge and understanding of complex systems, having the unique ability to explain processes in a manner that was easy to understand. He expected the best from everyone in his flying world, but supported them in every way to achieve the highest standards.
Joe loved tennis, football games (a lifelong Pittsburgh Steeler and University of Miami fan), card games (especially pinochle and 66), and spending time with family and friends. When his grandchild reached kindergarten age, Joe could be found getting Sami up in the morning, fixing them breakfast (and engaging in “philosophical” discussions in which Sami was often victor!!) and driving them to school every day while Donna and John were at work, creating a special bond between Gramps and Sami.
It is said that there was nothing in the world that he could not fix providing he had a roll of duct tape, a screwdriver and a beer in his hand. This is a skill he proudly passed on to his daughter Dolores. His incredible love for his family, and enthusiasm for life, was without equal. He could be counted on for a joke or a laugh, a shoulder to lean on and an understanding heart and ear when needed. He will be dearly missed by so many that had the good fortune and privilege to know him.
In lieu of flowers the family asks you to consider donating to the Alzheimer’s Association and to have a drink in his honor.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Saint David Catholic Church, 3900 South University Drive, Davie, Florida On Monday May 17, 2021 at 10:00 AM. Joe will be laid to rest following the funeral mass at the South Florida National Cemetery 6501 State Road 7, Lake Worth, Florida.
Arrangements by T.M. Ralph Funeral Home 371 NW 136 Avenue Sunrise, Florida 333325