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Harry J. Smith

March 28, 1925 ~ July 3, 2018 (age 93)
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DIXON – Harry J. Smith of Dixon died on Tuesday, July 3, 2018 at Franklin Grove Living and Rehabilitation Center after battling cancer and congestive heart failure for several years.

Harry was born March 28, 1925 in Dixon township at home to Harry Ulysses Grant Smith and Florence Mae (Miller) Smith. He married Virginia E. Dodd on June 28, 1946 at First United Methodist Church in Dixon. His wife also just recently passed but they would have celebrated 72 years of marriage this year.

He lived all of his life in Dixon. He grew up on a farm located on Bloody Gulch Road, attended the Country Hill School and graduated from Dixon High School in 1942. In September he enlisted in the Navy at an early age. He went to Great Lakes Naval Training Center for basic training, served as a Forward Deck Hand / Mess Cook on the USS Tarazed AF-13 prior to obtaining his Bakers certification. During WW II he was deployed four times to the Mediterranean and later reassigned to the Pacific Theater in Okinawa before being honorably discharged in 1946. He enjoyed talking about his years in the Navy. Harry was employed at the Reynolds Wire Mill in Dixon and later was hired by Northwestern Steel and Wire in Sterling. He worked at Northwestern in the nail division until retiring in 1987.

Harry enjoyed fishing with his wife for many years. They enjoyed fishing locally on the banks of the Rock River and also travelling with their boat on vacations to Greers Ferry Lake in Arkansas. The couple enjoyed playing cards, dancing and socializing with friends. He also enjoyed just sitting on the front porch of their home of 70 years acting as “mayor of goat hill” for the neighborhood. He provided many stories, advice and words of wisdom for his friends and family.

Survivors include his two sons, Gary (Judi) Smith of Kirkwood, Missouri, and Larry (Betsy) Smith of Crystal Lake; a daughter, Peggy Smith of Fort Worth, Texas, six granddaughters; five great-granddaughters; and five great-grandsons. He is also survived by his sister Stella Grobe of Dixon. He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Ada “Pete” Shepherd and brother Merle Smith, Sr.

Cremation rites have been accorded. A private graveside service will be scheduled at Chapel Hill Memorial Park of Dixon. Special thanks to the staff at Franklin Grove Living & Rehabilitation Center and Serenity Hospice of Oregon for the wonderful care they provided especially during his last days.

In lieu of flowers, memorial tributes may be directed to a charity of your choice. Condolences can be sent to the family at 321 Park Street, Dixon, IL 61021. Visit to send condolences online.

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