Curtis Leroy Smith

May 21, 1928 ‒ June 03, 2020

Columbus, Ohio
Formerly of Crestline, Ohio

Career Air Force Veteran, Curtis Leroy Smith, age 92, of Columbus and formerly of Crestline, passed away June 3, 2020, at OSU Wexner Medical Center in Columbus.

He was born May 21, 1928, in Crestline to parents Lawson C. & Ethel L. (Broadnax) Smith. He was a 1946 graduate of Central High School in Cleveland and proudly joined the United States Air Force in 1948. It was there he earned his bachelor’s degree, flew C-130s, and served 30 years before retiring as Chief Master Sergeant Smith. He went on to work with United Airlines and later the FAA security detail.

Curtis was a hardworking and courteous gentleman who was deeply religious and loved the Lord. He took pride in his appearance and always looked dapper and—according to the ladies—smelled good too! Flying airplanes was not only his job but also his hobby; he loved flying. He also enjoyed building model planes and aquariums. Curtis had a special talent for music; he played the saxophone and enjoyed singing in a men’s chorus.

Curtis’ number one priority—other than his family—was making sure he never missed an OSU football game on TV. He was a huge fan and was so excited when Ohio State was winning. His friends and family will miss his charming and steadfast nature and will remember Curtis every time they sneak a piece of chocolate—especially if it’s a Nestlé Chunky bar.

He is survived by his children Cherene (Patrick) Smith Watkins of Reynoldsburg, Carlos M. Smith of Galion, and Colette M. Smith of Columbus; grandchildren Cosette, Carlos, Brian, Darvell, Jason, and Jordan; ten great-grandchildren; sister-in-law Nira Bowman of Woodbridge, VA; and cousins Paul Hoke of Mansfield and Barbara Crowley of Stone Mountain, GA.

In addition to his parents, Curtis was preceded in death by his daughter Claire (Smith) Sullivan; the mother of his children Camille (Rock) Smith; and his sister Dr. Alene Jones.

A graveside service will be held at 2:30 PM Monday, June 15, 2020, at Greenlawn Cemetery in Crestline officiated by Pastor Charles Davis. Military honors will be performed by active-duty members of the US Air Force assisted by the Richland County Joint Veterans Burial Detail.

Memorial contributions to the VFW Post #15036 (35 E Chestnut St Ste 506, Columbus, OH 43215) may be made in his memory.

Snyder Funeral Homes is honored to serve Curtis’ family and encourage you to share a memory and watch his tribute video at

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Rev. Eugene Mitchell’s Resolution of Respect for Brother Curtis Leroy Smith

  • I am so very sorry to hear of Curtis’ passing. I had the pleasure of meeting Curtis several years ago. He was always cheerful and was an excellent conversationalist. His presence always lit up the room, and I will miss his smile and his warmth. My thoughts and sincere condolences are with all of his family members.

  • Sincere condolences to the Smith Family. I only heard of Mr Smith and his adventures in the sky. Hard working until the very end. May he Rest In Peace

  • To Carlos and Alyssa
    We are so sorry for your loss. You were blessed to have a wonderful grandparent, may he RIP.
    Tony and Lisa

  • Uncle Curtis I remember you when I was just a little boy I was amazed that you where flying planes in the Air Force I’ll never forget you rest in peace Uncle Curtis your great nephew (lil Leonard) DEREK.

  • Mr. Smith was a wonderful, special friend to us at St. Mark AME. We were so very blessed to know him. My condolences to the family, he will be truly missed.

  • I’m so sorry for the loss of your dad! I will never forget his hospitality in letting us 3 crazy girls invade his house in Hawaii! He was so accommodating and sweet ! We had a blast! I know you guys will miss him very much ! God bless you all !

  • My condolences to your family, Collette, I know you were close to your Dad and you will miss him. Take care.

  • My thoughts and feelings are with Colette and her entire family. What a full life Curtis led. He obviously shared his many gifts, talents, passions with the world and his friends and family. I had the opportunity to stay in his home on Oahu too. I remember big smiles from Curtis, leis upon arrival, moist clean sheets cause of moisture in the air, big flowers and sunshine. I know he loved it there too and working for the airlines. I was always curious about his security job…it made him seem a bit mysterious. I hope you can all be together again one day. Next time in the heavenly skies.

  • Our thoughts and prayer goes out to the Smith family. Unfortunately, we did not get to meet him. However, our Pastor who is doing the service. He speaks will of Colette, which is the offspring of a great man. We here at New Born Ministries are praying for our Pastor, the service, and your family. May God give you strength during this time.

  • Neighbor-friends will truly miss his smile, generous acts of kindness and a true neighbor. We will miss him as well as his family. Knowing his mother and sister Alene ,we know he is with them . God bless this family.

  • Dearest Cherene,
    May the comfort and warmth, light and grace surround you and your family at this time, wrapping condolences around your sorrow.

    Blessings and Love always,