William R. Smart
GILFORD — William Robertson Smart, an international business executive of unbounded energy and curiosity, passed away at his home in Gilford on March 21, 2012, at the age of 91. He and his wife, Avis, had just celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary in January.
Bill was born in Arbroath, Scotland, on July 13, 1920, and moved to Schenectady, N.Y., at the age of five when his father set out to find work in the United States after
World War I.
Bill graduated from
Princeton University in 1941 with a degree in Electrical Engineering.
During World War II, he served with the 20th Air
Force in the Pacific, returning to Schenectady to marry Avis Perkins in 1946.
Bill’s career in corporate management with General Electric, and later Honeywell, took his family to Cleveland, Chicago, New York City, Pittsfield, Mass., Dover, London, Paris, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, and Boston.
In 1983, he stepped down as Honeywell’s senior vice-president for corporate relations and embarked on an active retirement, serving on several company boards and traveling widely with Avis and their grandchildren. He and Avis spent their summers in Gilford and winters in Charleston, S.C.
He was president of the New England Chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors. He was also a proud Princeton alumnus, serving as president of the Class of 1941 and returning to campus for annual reunions, including his 70th last May.
Bill enjoyed sailing on Lake Winnipesaukee, reading history and politics, listening to language tapes, and repairing sundry appliances and furniture. He also thrived on launching fundraising projects for his many civic affiliations: the Gilford Rotary, the Unitarian Universalist Society of Laconia, the Unitarian Church in Charleston, the Winnipesaukee Yacht Club, the St. Andrew’s Societies of Schenectady and Charleston, the Alliance Française of Charleston, and others.
In addition to Avis, he is survived by four children and their families: Suzann Smart and Tom Merklinger of Clifton Park, N.Y., Robert Smart and Christine Belson of Washington, D.C., David Smart and Margaret Frey of Cleveland, Ohio, and Christopher Smart and Shari Loessberg of Washington, D.C. Also, seven grandchildren: Robert, David, and John Merklinger and Anne, Caroline, Kate, and Betty Smart.
There will be a memorial service at 3 p.m. on June 23 at their home in Gilford. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to the Unitarian Universalist Society of Laconia, 172 Pleasant St., Laconia NH 03246; The Unitarian Church in Charleston, 8 Archdale St., Charleston SC 29401; or Princeton University Annual Giving, PO Box 5357, Princeton NJ 08543-5357 (please indicate in memory of William Smart, Class of 1941).
Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 164 Pleasant St., Laconia, is assisting the family with the arrangements. For more information and to view an online memorial, go to www.wilkinsonbeane.com.