Valdo Richard Smith, 83, man of diverse interests
October 09, 2013Valdo Richard Smith, a 43-year resident of Valley Center, passed away Sunday, Oct. 6, at his home. He was 83 years of age.
Born June 26, 1930, in Whittier, Calif., Val attended Fullerton Union High School. After two years of college, Val enlisted for a three-year tour of duty in the U.S. Coast Guard, serving aboard the weather ship Klamath in the northern Pacific, and receiving his honorable discharge in 1953.
In September 1954, Val married Norma Jane Davis of Yorba Linda, Calif. After several years in Yorba Linda, Val and Janey, together with their two small children, moved to Casper, Wyo. There Val spent ten years as an office manager for Shaffer Tool Works, a firm involved in the manufacture and distribution of pressure control devices for the petroleum industry. He coached little league baseball and enjoyed hunting and fishing in the Wyoming wilderness.
Val and Janey returned to Southern California in 1969, settling in Valley Center on a small ranch where they maintained several acres of citrus trees. Val spent the remaining 21 years of his working life as bookkeeper, office manager, and ultimately comptroller at Joor Manufacturing, Inc., a storage tank fabricating business in Escondido, before retiring in 1990 at age 60.
An avid reader, Val collected books throughout his lifetime, building an extensive library focusing on works of British and American literature, world literature in translation, classical Greek and Roman writers, world history, literary criticism, and the arts. A genuinely self-educated individual, he loved to spend time in his library among his books and periodicals, and enjoyed discussing them with family and friends.
Blessed with an active mind and eclectic interests, Val enjoyed sports, particularly the San Diego Padres, and liked to follow the ups and downs of the stock market. His fondness for travel inspired a three-month trip across the United States in 1993 and a trip to Dublin, Ireland in 2004. His interest in Civil War history prompted visits to several battlefields where his ancestors fought.
Val is survived by his wife of 59 years, Janey; two children, Valdo James Smith of Glendora, Calif., and Erin Lee Smith of Escondido; three grandchildren, one step-grandchild, and three step-great-grandchildren. A memorial service will be held on Friday, Oct. 11, at 1:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, located at 4th and Kalmia in Escondido. A graveside service follows on Saturday, Oct. 12, at 1:30 p.m. at Loma Vista Memorial Park in Fullerton.