Share this article

print logo

ANDREW SMITH, ARMY OFFICER, CONTRACTOR
MAY 30, 1920 -- MARCH 29, 2005

Andrew Smith of Hamburg, whose company moved thousands of tons of soil for some of the area's biggest construction projects, died Tuesday in Mercy Hospital after a long illness. He was 84.

Graveside services were Friday in Holy Cross Cemetery, Lackawanna. A memorial Mass will be offered at 10 a.m. April 29 in St. Bernadette's Catholic Church, 5930 S. Abbott Road, Orchard Park.

Mr. Smith's death came only three weeks after that of his wife of nearly 60 years, Jeanne O'Mara Smith.

The couple met on a troop ship in 1943. He was a captain in the Army Corps of Engineers; she, a lieutenant in the Army nursing corps. They were married in 1945.

Mr. O'Mara was born in southwestern Pennsylvania and was a coal miner like the rest of his family until World War II. He enlisted in the Army in 1939, went to Officers Candidate School and was part of the Office of Strategic Services. He was a veteran of the North African campaign, Normandy landing and the Battle of the Bulge, where he was taken prisoner. He later took part in the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz. He was nominated for two Purple Hearts but turned them down, saying his injuries were not serious enough.

He began his civilian construction career as a state resident engineer on the Scajaquada Parkway construction and then formed an earth-moving and excavating company with his parter, William Rupert. They helped build the Niagara Power Project, Niagara Thruway, Niagara Parkway, Kinzua Dam, the Southern Tier Expressway.

Mr. Smith later became an estimator for the William McClendon Paving Company and ABC Paving. He retired in 1984 and, with his wife, spent the next 19 winters in Bonita Springs, Fla. before illness forced him back home to Hamburg. He was a member of the American Legion and St. Bernadette's Church.

He is survived by four sons, Richard A. of Walpole, Mass., David W. and Douglas A. of Hamburg and Mark E. of Boston; a sister, Betty Ducsay of Redlands, Calif.; and 10 grandchildren.

[Beebe].

There are no comments - be the first to comment