Thornton Edward Smith


Thornton Edward Smith, a resident of Peconic Landing in Greenport, died Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019. He was 96 years old.Born in Hempstead, N.Y., Nov. 11, 1923, he was the son of the late Dr. Henry Buel Smith and Hazel Sweezy Smith.

Thornton graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in the Class of 1941. During World War II, he served in the Army Corps of Engineers on the Manhattan Project and in the Philippines. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1948 and an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1949.

Thornton spent his professional career as owner and CEO of Kuhn, Smith & Harris Inc., a construction business headquartered in Manhattan, N.Y., which he proudly ran for over 35 years.

He also continued his military career in the Army Reserves, eventually rising to the rank of colonel. He was a graduate of the Army Command and General Staff College and Army War College.

His love of the Boy Scouts spanned 84 years, beginning with earning the rank of Eagle Scout and culminating with a 55-year association with Troop 71 in Plandome, N.Y. All four of his sons became Eagle Scouts, along with three of his grandsons. He was a loyal member of the Delta Upsilon fraternity and served for over 40 years as a member of the Plandome Fire Department.
Thornton was a member of First Universalist Church of Southold and the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock, Manhasset, N.Y. In addition to hunting, fishing and hiking in the outdoors, he loved to hear about family members’ challenges and accomplishments and was always ready with assistance and support. He was known for his loyalty, sense of duty and perseverance in all that he did.

Thornton is survived by his wife of 68 years, Sherry Wakelee Smith, of Peconic Landing; sons Jeffrey T. Smith of Arlington, Va., T. Wakelee Smith of Sag Harbor, N.Y., Riordon B. Smith of Vero Beach, Fla., and Neil H. Smith of Weston, Mass.; daughter Tarin Smith Davies of Albuquerque, N.M.; grandchildren Carlie and Kyland Smith; Ryan, Austin and Ashley Davies; Dillon, Cheyenne and Colter Smith; Amanda (Ohnmacht), Winston and Everett Smith; and Skylar, Chloe and Carter Smith; great-grandchildren Gabrielle, Marius, Theodore and Cassien Davies and Greyson Davies. Thornton is also survived by his sister, Shirley Smith Anderson. Preceding him in death was his brother, Buel Sweezy Smith.

Visiting hours will be held Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019, from 2 to 5 p.m. at Horton-Mathie Funeral Home, 735 First St., Greenport, NY 11944.

A memorial celebration will be held Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019, at 11 a.m. in the auditorium at Peconic Landing, 1500 Brecknock Road, Greenport, NY 11944.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in honor of Thornton Smith may be made to Troop 71 Foundation, c/o 45 Winthrope Road, Manhasset, NY 11030 or the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, 689 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02139-3322.

This is a paid notice.