Kenneth Judson Ken Smith, Jr., 86, passed away on January 27, 2017 at Van Duyn Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing in Syracuse, N.Y. Ken was born in Raleigh, N.C. to the late Kenneth Judson Smith and Irene Strickland Smith. In 1951 Ken joined the U.S. Marine Corps. Following his Honorable Discharge he began his studies at East Carolina University, then went on to receive his M.A. and Ph.D. in chemistry from Duke University. After several years in private industry Ken served as the Department of Chemistry Chairman and Professor at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (CESF) in Syracuse, N.Y., retiring in 1975. During his tenure, he also served as Acting Director of the Polymer Research Institute (CESF) and spent a year in 1979 as Visiting Professor at Istituto di Chimica Industriale, Università, Genova, Italy. Throughout his life Ken set mental and physical challenges for himself, always raising the bar, while encouraging others to strive for their own personal best.
Ken is survived by his daughters, Patricia Smith Pittman, Pamela Smith and his grandchildren, Jay and Jon Pittman; Joy Jones; Jessica, Dale, Whitney and Daniel Ross.
He is predeceased by his parents, his sister Elizabeth Betty Brannon, and his wife of 59 years, Dorothy Ratcliffe Smith. In keeping with his wishes, service will be private.
In his honor, donations may be made to the organization of one’s choice.
March 7, 2012 Dorothy Ratcliffe Smith passed away on March 7, 2012, in her home in Syracuse, NY, with her husband and both daughters at her side. She had struggled against cancer since learning of her condition on August 11, 2011, but her fight was of little avail since the inevitable end descended rapidly. She succumbed to it with the same dignity and composure that had carried her through life as a quiet, calm, thoughtful and gracious lady. She was 79. She was born in Pittsburgh, PA, on February 9, 1933. Her parents were Vera Ratcliffe (nee Benfield of North Carolina) and John Ratcliffe. Dorothy was number 7 in a flock of 10 children (5 of each). Because of the Great Depression, the family soon moved to Merrimack Valley, settling in Methuen, MA. Dorothy was schooled ultimately at Searles High School (and voted Senior Class president by her classmates in 1950). Upon graduation she took whatever work was available. Soon (1952) she moved to Raleigh, NC, to live with her sister, Vera Harrison (who had ventured away earlier), and her husband Ray. Promptly she obtained employment in the Raleigh Police Department, remaining until she met and married Kenneth Judson Smith Jr. of Raleigh. In 1954, they moved to Greenville, NC, where her spouse entered East Carolina College. Three years later, with a degree, they moved to Durham, NC, where four more years led to another degree (Duke University). During this time Dorothy worked at the Duke University Graduate School as secretary to the associate dean, with the responsibility for student records, files, reports, etc. After graduation they remained in Research Triangle Park region rearing two daughters, Patricia and Pamela. Several years later, in 1968, the family moved to Syracuse, NY, where Dorothy secured several positions at Syracuse University, for example, office manager and secretary to the director of the Metropolitan Studies program. Eventually, she successfully rose to become senior secretary to the dean and office manager of the famed Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. In 1987, she left the university to spend more time at home doing the things that she liked best: arts and crafts, not for business but for pleasure. She enrolled in non-degree courses at University College and at BOCES. Her interests were wide: wall papering and painting, floor tiling, glazing (bricks, slate and ceramics), leaded glass (clear or colored design), decoupage, gardening and walkways, and not missing a day at the gym. Sewing and fashion designs were particularly special to her: handbags, vests, jackets, coats, etc. Another craft close to her heart was upholstery. She took it up on her own and became very proficient so she applied for a job at Stickley’s in Manlius to polish her techniques and eliminate her weak spots. When Dorothy explained this, Mr. Audi himself was so surprised and pleased he immediately hired her. Once her needs were satisfied, she moved on with high regard and appreciation for Mr. Audi. Dorothy was predeceased by her parents and four siblings, Jack, Fred, Alice Pricer and Joan Savard. Surviving are her husband, Kenneth; daughters, Patricia Pittman (Raleigh) and Pamela Smith (Syracuse, NY); five siblings, Robert-Ann (Pinehurst, NC), Edward- Evelyn (Methuen, MA), Vera Harrison (Gardner, NC), Jean Robillard (Pelham, NH), and Richard-Gail (Pelham, MA); seven grandchildren, Jay, Jon (Pittman), Joy Jones, and Jessica, Whitney, Dale, Daniel (Ross all). All others– aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, in-laws–are too numerous to name here. Dorothy had great love and respect for all. She made her part of this world a better place. Services will be private, at a later date, at the convenience of the family.
Merry Thomas Pittman of 1611 Carbonton Road died at her residence on Feb. 14, 2011, after a lengthy illness. She was the daughter of the late J. Clyde Thomas and Mary Emma Yarborough Thomas, and was born July 8, 1926, in Broadway, NC.
She was preceded in death by her husband, James B. Pittman; a son, T. Scott Pittman; a brother, Lawrence K. Thomas; and a sister, Jewel Thomas Adcock.
She is survived by a brother, Harry C. Thomas of Sanford, a son, Jack Pittman of Raleigh, five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
Mrs. Pittman was a graduate of Sanford High School and attended Sanford Business College and Central Carolina Community College. She retired from CCCC as a secretary. She enjoyed salt water fishing, travel, and bowling, but most of all her life was exemplified by her compassionate nature and generous spirit of volunteer service. Friends and relatives alike bear testimony to the love and joy she spread which reflected her name “Merry.”
She was a longtime member of East Sanford Baptist Church where she served as a Sunday School teacher, department director, and on various committees.
The funeral was held at East Sanford Baptist Church on Wednesday, Feb. 16, at 11 a.m. with the Reverends Bob Yandle and Robbie Gibson officiating. Moving eulogies were delivered by longtime friends Jesse Collins and Jackie Parker. Merry’s and Jack’s favorite song, “Tennessee Waltz,” was played by their nephew Barry Cashion on trumpet, accompanied by his daughter Kimberly C. Davidson on piano. William Ellis led the congregation in Mrs. Pittman’s favorite hymns, “Amazing Grace” and “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.”
Burial service was held at Buffalo Cemetery.
Memorial donations may be made to the East Sanford Baptist Church Building Fund.
James (Jack) Pittman, age 88 of Sanford passed away on Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2010 at Parkview Retirement Home in Sanford after a lengthy illness.
He was born on March 26, 1922 in Lee County, NC, son of the late Morris F. Pittman and Lilla B. Pittman. He was also preceded in death by a son, T. Scott Pittman. Mr. Pittman was a retired teacher of Fayetteville Technical Community College and was a member of East Sanford Baptist Church where he had served as trustee, deacon, and Sunday school teacher. He was a veteran of WWII serving the European Theater with the 8th Air Force.
He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Merry Thomas Pittman, and a son, Jack Pittman of Raleigh; five grandchildren: Bryan Scott Pittman and wife Leigh of Four Oaks, NC; Meredith Pittman Calton and husband Paul of Clayton, NC; Jay and Jon Pittman of Raleigh, NC and Joy Pittman Jones and husband Lindel of Boone, NC. One great-granddaughter, Morgan Kate Calton and great-grandson, Asher Calton.
A funeral service will be held on Friday, December 24, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. at East Sanford Baptist Church with the Rev.Bob Yandle and Rev. Robbie Gibson officiating. The family will receive friends from 10:30-11:00 at the church prior to the funeral.