Feb. 15, 1937 – May 18, 2015
Thomas A. Smith, of Cheektowaga, longtime owner of King Opticians, died Monday in Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Amherst, after a short illness. He was 78.
Born in Buffalo, he was a 1955 graduate of Bennett High School, where he played varsity baseball and basketball. A pitcher, he was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals and played for their minor league teams in Dothan, Ala., and Gainesville, Fla.
He served in the Army in 1959 and 1960.
Mr. Smith became an apprentice to Donald P. King, owner of King Opticians on Main Street in Allentown, in 1960 and acquired the business when King retired in 1985.
The business became Eyes Downtown after he sold it in 2010. He continued to work there until his death.
An avid golfer and bowler, he was inducted into the Bennett High School Sports Hall of Fame and the Buffalo Golf Club Hall of Fame at Grover Cleveland Golf Course.
He also was a member of the Dew Drop Inn Social Club and the Corpus Christi Men’s Club.
His wife of 51 years, the former Mary Ann McMullen, died in 2011.
Survivors include two sons, Thomas H. and David; a daughter, Karen Stuart; a brother, Roger; a sister, Linda; and seven grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday in Pacer Funeral Home, 2275 George Urban Blvd., Depew.