Obituary of Pendleton Ward Smith
Pendleton Ward Smith, 87, passed away peacefully at home in Salem, Virginia on March 7, 2023. He was born in Roanoke on October 21, 1935, to Columbus Penrose and Lucille Eakin Smith. Penn graduated from John Marshall High School in Richmond, where he was a member of the Corps of Cadets and a drum major for the marching band. He is also a graduate of the University of Richmond. He spent his career in public accounting, followed by many years as a corporate CFO.
Penn was pre-deceased by his parents; his brother, Johnny Smith; and his daughter-in-law, Angela Davis. He is survived by his devoted wife, Patty Boothe Smith; his children, Penny Price (David); Scott Smith (Aznee); Alan Smith (Lisa); and Cathy Smith; and his stepchildren, who he loved as his own, Matthew Davis; Michael Davis (Margaret); and Neil Davis (Katherine). Fond memories will be cherished by his beloved grandchildren, Lindsay Miller (Bo), Channing Price (Zach), Sierra Spangler (Brandon), Cayse Smith, Brian Davis, Kimberly Davis (Jay), Crystal Davis (Dalton), Christie Jones, Michael Davis, Bailey Davis, and Jacob Davis. He is also survived by ten lively great-grandchildren; his mother-in-law, Cora DeLong; and numerous other in-laws, nieces, and nephews.
At an early age, a Sunday School teacher awakened in Penn a passion for flying that never left him. He became a private pilot and later gave up interests in golf and tennis when he discovered soaring. He began flying sailplanes in 1980 and traveled throughout the U.S. participating in soaring competitions. In 1990, Penn was part of a team of seventeen glider pilots that received a 1000K diplôme for the longest contest task, setting a world record with each soaring a distance of 1007.39 km (626 miles). This feat is recognized at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, where Mach 2 test pilot Scott Crossfield presented Penn with his 1000K certificate. Penn was a member and committee chair of the Soaring Society of America, providing years of leadership and guidance in the areas of professional management and investment. In addition, he held numerous offices in the Blue Ridge Soaring Society. He often said that he loved the feeling of flight.
Penn instilled a number of important life lessons to his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, not the least of which was to be respectful to others. He loved a good story and regaled us with many mostly true tales. In times of need, we knew in our hearts he was always there.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the National D-Day Memorial, P. O. Box 77, Bedford, VA 24523.
Penn would like you to remember him by raising a glass to toast your friends, but “never before five.”
A reception in his honor will be held on Saturday, March 18, 2023, from 11:00am – 1:00pm at the Roanoke Council of Garden Clubs, 3640 Colonial Ave., Roanoke, VA.
In Loving Memory
1935 - 2023
5160 Peters Creek Road
Roanoke, VA 24019
3912 Electric Road
Roanoke, VA 24018
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