Stanley Wayne Smith, 86, of Lynchburg, died Sunday, April 28, 2019.
Stan Smith grew up in Weeping Water and Avoca, Neb. and attended Doane College in Crete, Neb. where he met the love of his life, Lucy Moyer. Stan and Lucy were married in 1952 and spent 67 years together.
Stan went from Doane to the University of Nebraska, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. He later received an MBA from the Sloan School at MIT.
After graduation Stan and Lucy moved to Omaha, Neb., where Stan went to work for AT&T subsidiary Northwestern Bell as an engineer. During Stan’s 34 year career at AT&T, Stan and Lucy moved every few years, living in Omaha several times, as well as Fremont, Neb.; Wellesley, Mass; Des Moines, Iowa; Minneapolis, Minn.; and Basking Ridge, N.J. While Stan’s career started in engineering, he had many other roles over the years. For the last 13 years of his time with AT&T he served as the President of AT&T Resource Management, AT&T’s subsidiary responsible for managing its portfolio of office, manufacturing, distribution and real estate space. At the time AT&T’s Bell System was the second-largest holder of real estate in the United States. Stan often said the highlights of his career were overseeing the construction of AT&T’s new headquarters campus in Basking Ridge, N.J. and working with architect Philip Johnson to build AT&T’s flagship office on 550 Madison Avenue in New York (known as the Chippendale Building due to its uniquely identifiable cornice).
Stan took early retirement from AT&T in 1986, following the federally-ordered breakup of the Bell System, and then spent a short time working in commercial real estate in northern N.J. He was quickly recruited by the United States Postal Service (USPS), the largest holder of real estate in the United States. Stan and Lucy moved to McLean, Va. and Stan served as the Assistant Postmaster General in charge of all the Postal Services’ real estate, construction and leasing. Stan retired from the USPS in 1992. While Stan was an incredibly successful businessman, he is most remembered by his AT&T and USPS colleagues as the nicest guy they ever worked for - he proved that you can be a nice guy and finish first!
Always loving the water, Stan and Lucy made their retirement home in the coastal community of Isle of Palms, S.C. After narrowly escaping the loss of their home during 1989’s Hurricane Hugo, Stan and Lucy decided a retirement view of an inland lake would be more relaxing and moved to Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia. They spent 25 years on Smith Mountain Lake and were very active in that community. Stan was particularly focused on the ecological health of the lake. He served as President of the Tri-County Lake Administrative Commission for many years, served on the Board of the Smith Mountain Lake Association for 15 years and served as an environmental liaison with Ferrum College. In addition, he was an active Lion, a volunteer with AARP Tax-Aide and Treasurer of the Franklin County Library Foundation, where he campaigned to raise money to create a library branch at SML’s Westlake Corner. What he loved more than anything at the lake was the summers surrounded by the happy noise of his daughters, his grandchildren and all their friends playing at the lake.
In 2014, Stan and Lucy moved to The Summit in Lynchburg, Va., where they found instant joy in a community of people their own age who shared the same memories. Stan was very active on the Summit’s Resident Council, serving as its president for two years. He also participated in many Summit events - hosting bingo, singing in the men’s choir and being the devil’s advocate in the Friday morning book club.
Stan is survived by his wife, Lucy Smith; his brother, Roger Smith (wife Jannette); his daughters Linda Need (husband Edward) and Pamela Smith; as well as grandchildren - Ryan Need (wife Megan Butala); Heidi Fisk (husband Joshua); Emily Need, Hannah Heimer and David Heimer.
A celebration of Stan’s life will be held at The Summit in Lynchburg on Friday, May 3 at 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers, Stan requested that donations be made to the Summit’s Benevolent Fund, the Smith Mountain Lake Association or a charity of your choice.
Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Lynchburg, is assisting the family. To send condolences, please visit tharpfuneralhome.com.