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.