Obit: Smith, Herbert "Herb" M. #2 (1903 - 2005)
Contact:  Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Smith, Huntizicker, Kurth, O’Neil, Johnson

----Sources: Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI, January 12, 2005

Smith, Herbert "Herb" M. (May 9, 1903 - January 10, 2005)

Herb Smith, age 101, of Neillsville, died Monday, January 10, 2005, at the Memorial Medical Center in Neillsville, Wis.

Herb Smith was born in Neillsville, Wisconsin the son of William L. Smith Sr. and Olive (Huntizicker) Smith on May 9, 1903. He was educated in the Neillsville School System and spent his active years in the telephone industry. He was also active in many local projects, the National Guard Service Company, 128th Infantry and Memorial Hospital being the principle interests.

In 1930 Herb and Dorothy Kurth were married, and son Jerry was born to their union. After Dorothy’s death, Herb and Lorna O’Neil Johnson were married, and daughter Jean joined the family.

Herb’s experience in telephone work began after graduation from high school in 1921. He started with the line crew and became well acquainted with outside plant construction and maintenance. This was followed by central office maintenance, troubleshooting, telephone installation and repair. In 1935, he began office work, maintaining records, accounting and general supervision. His father retried in the m id 1950s, and it was about this time that son Jerry was starting in the business. In 1965, the company was sold, ending a 63 year span of the Smith family ownership.

The National Guard was another vital interest of Herb’s. His original enlistment was in 1919. During the years in the Service Company, the local military unit, he progressed through the noncommissioned grades and was commissioned in 1926. He was very interested in supply, and Service Company was an ideal assignment to follow this interest. In 1935, he became Regimental Supply Officer, and it was with this assignment that he entered Federal Service in the 1940 mobilization prior to WWII. In 1941, Herb was transferred to the 126th Infantry and went to the Southwest Pacific area with this organization. He commanded the 2/126 in the trek over Owen-Stanley Mountains in New Guinea, leading up to the attack on Buna. He was wounded on December 7, 1942, and retired from military service in 1944. Herb was awarded the Combat Infantryman’s Medal, the Purple Heart and the Distinguished Service Cross.

The building of a modern hospital in Neillsville ranked very high in Herb’s opinion. He served on the organization committee and was active in the first 20 years of the operation of Memorial Medical Center.

Herb lived a very enjoyable life, and in departing leaves a son Jerry and a daughter, Jean, a daughter-in-law, Alice and a son-in-law, Bruce Reveling, six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Funeral Services for Herb will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, January 15, 2005 at the United Church of Christ in Neillsville, Wis. Pastor James Mohr will officiate. Music will be provided by Deon Spangler, organist and Corrine Armitage, soloist. Military Rites will be accorded by the Neillsville Veterans Council. Interment will be in the Neillsville City Cemetery. Visitation will be from 5 until 8 p.m., Friday at the Gesche Funeral Home and from 10 to 11 a.m., Saturday at the Church.

Casket bearers are Hap Eddy and Herb’s grandsons.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be given in Herb’s name to the United Church of Christ or the Building Fund for the new American Legion Hall in Neillsville, Wis.

The Gesche Funeral Home is assisting Herb’s family with funeral arrangements.



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