RIPLEY - Christopher John Smith, age 62, of Ripley, N.Y., passed away on Tuesday, April 17, 2012. He was the beloved husband of Carole Lynn Compo Smith, (married June 30, 1979 and 1994) and was survived by her and two sons, Aaron Kyle Smith of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and Sean Allan Smith, of Lower Burrell, Pa. He was grandfather to Michael Markis Smith of Jasper, Ga., and Quinne Grayce Smith of Lower Burrell, Pa.
Chris was born on Nov. 7, 1949 to parents Dan J. Smith and Ida Jane Wantshouse Smith of Westfield, N.Y. He was born and raised in Westfield, attended Westfield Academy and Central School and attended Chautauqua Institution during many summers in art and sports programs. He was very artistic and loved to draw with pastels and other media during his younger years. In later years, his artistic nature lent itself to a love of gardening and planting, and his rose and lily gardens remain beautiful today. He attended College at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, leaving in 1971. He was a veteran, and served in the U.S. Army.
Chris was known for his quick wit and joking nature. Many stories abound about his various escapades throughout his youth. He kept everyone going with stories of youthful pranks and experiences. His struggle with alcoholism and drug abuse was an inspiration to many as he had almost 19 years of total sobriety after almost 40 years of abuse. He always attributed this success to his desire to be clean and sober and his involvement in his faith, as one of Jehovah's Witnesses. He knew it was only because of the help he received from Jehovah that he was able to attain to sobriety.
He was known to his spiritual family as the "Colorful Cowboy" brother. He was a flamboyant dresser, known for the Stetson hat, cowboy boots and leather jackets that were his trademark. Everything had to match perfectly. Many waited to see what the outfit of the day would be.
He sold new and used cars for over 21 years, in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan and Florida. His most recent careers were involved in time share sales at Coconut Mallory Resort in Key West, Fla., and then for Tamarack Club at Holiday Valley, in Ellicottville, N.Y. As the senior salesman there, he sold the majority of units of fractional sales and had many loyal customers. As some have commented, he lived 12 of his nine lives and that "when God made Chris, he broke the mold."
His sons have said he is the reason they are the men they are today. Having made many mistakes, many have learned from his example of focus and tough love. He will be sorely missed, but never forgotten. His legacy will live on through Beechwood Acres in Ripley, N.Y. Working on this project for the last five years, his efforts can be seen throughout the yards and grounds. Since this was such a work of love, any correspondences and donations may be made to Beechwood Acres, P O Box 511, North East, PA 16428.
Chris will be cremated and his memorial service will be held on Friday, April 27 at 1:30 p.m. at the Westfield Kingdom Hall, 7605 Plank Road, Westfield, N.Y. Following will be hospitality and memories at Beechwood Acres, 9420 E. Lake Road, Ripley, NY 14775. Messages may also be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.