Richard John SMITH, Sr., 78, of Wellsville, NY, formerly of Elmira, was a delightful, gifted carpenter, who devoted his life to serving his family and his community. He left his earthly home here on August 2, 2018 and entered his "mansion over the hilltop" (a favorite hymn he played on the piano and sang).
Born January 1, 1940, in Osceola, PA, he was the son of Willard John and Lucille Irene Wheaton Smith. As a young adult, he shouldered much responsibility for his mother and siblings, always with a calm, direct approach. He knew what was right and what was wrong, and firmly took a stand for the right in family matters and for his community. For much of his adult life, he taught Sunday school, drove church bus, ushered, helped build Elmira Christian Center, and in later years he helped make repairs at the church and Elmira Christian Academy.
He was employed by Clarence McKinney who taught him the building trade, and Houghton Construction, building churches. He retired as foreman of the Chemung County Building and Grounds Department, leaving his masterful touch throughout the area.
He spent most of his later years doing remodeling projects for relatives and helping those who needed a hand. His neighborhood knew no limit to his help with mowing, and shoveling, even a path for the mailman to more easily go from house to house.
"Sweetheart" was often heard in his home, and was one of the last words he said as he acknowledged a granddaughter. He faithfully, consistently served us all well, with a humble, joyful, loving, caring spirit, even in his famous pranks and jokes.
He leaves a grieving, loving family that includes Lydia Jane Goodwin Smith to whom he was married 50 years; a daughter, Elizabeth (Smith) Wheeler; a son, Richard (Shalyne) Smith Jr.; grandchildren, Alexis (David) Odle, Kaitlin (Chad) Goewey, Michael, Jordan, Joshua; great-grandchildren, Robbie Odle and Richard Odle.
A Memorial Service will be held 1:00 PM, Saturday, August 11, 2018 at Elmira Christian Center, 235 East Miller St., Elmira, NY.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to a charity of the donor's choice.
Arrangements are entrusted to Mulholland-Crowell Funeral Home, Wellsville, NY. Online condolences may be expressed at
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