Gerald Owen Smith passed away Tuesday, April 13, 2021 just 3 days following his 61st birthday. Born April 10, 1960 in Oakland, MD, he was the youngest and last surviving son of the late Eugene "Pappy" Smith and Christine Marie (McCloud) Smith. He attended Southern High School and was a proud member of the MD Army National Guard, serving almost 22 years before retirement in 2001. He spent his career working in the Shaffer Ford and Team One collision centers, and for several years, owned and operated his own business, Smitty's Auto Repair, in Swanton, MD.
In 1978, Gerald married the love of his life, Patricia (Patti) Ann Wilt. They were so young but absolutely knew they were meant for each other and shared a beautiful marriage for over 43 years. Born to them were two beautiful and amazing daughters, Melissa Dawn (Tim) Walden, Accident, and Jennifer Lynn (Dewey) Warnick, Oakland. They raised their girls with love and compassion for family that brought them five wonderful grandchildren; Zachary Owen (Tessa) Bittinger, Elk Garden, WV, Mariah Nicole Beeman, Oakland, Zoey Leighann Bittinger, Accident, Maxwell Alexander and Mason David Warnick, Oakland. God continued to bless their lives with great grandchildren, Eyan Kane Sullivan and Oakley Eric Edward Deal, Isabelle Gracelynn Bittinger, and a new blessing coming in June, Beau Owen Eugene Bittinger. Their life was full, even in this last difficult year, when Gerald's failing health and COVID took its toll, limiting any visitation with his treasured family.
Gerald and Patti were inseparable, and loved to camp and travel. They spent years as permanent campers at Hidden Springs Campground, PA, where they made lifelong friends and shared the experience with their kids and grandkids as often as possible. Gerald was a country music fan through and through and anyone that knew him could be sure they would be hearing his legend George Jones music playing when they would visit. He and Patti traveled to many concerts over the years including traveling to Branson, Pigeon Forge, and Nashville. Every single year, they attended the Rocky Gap Music Festival near Cumberland, which became a family and friend tradition often including more than 20 people making a long weekend of camping and fun attending the 3 day festival. Over the last few years, they enjoyed taking many trips to Delaware to visit the Robert Smith (a dear cousin) family, where many beach, boat rides, and sight-seeing adventures were enjoyed.
Gerald is survived by one sister, Sylvia May (Marvin) Guthrie, Oakland, sisters-in-law Barbara Irene Dunbar, Oakland, Wanda May Douty, Frostburg, and Sharon Ann Smith, Oakland, and one cousin he considered a brother, John Henry Smith, Oakland. He was so blessed with wonderful friends including Thomas Kierstead, Fruita, CO, William Thomas, Oakland, Roy Thomas, Oakland, and Rick Broadwater, Swanton. He knew that any time he was in need, he could call on any of them and they would be here for him. He treasured his friendships dearly. He was preceded in death by his parents and four brothers, Roger Lee (Rocky) Smith, Eugene (Stoney) Smith, Timothy Smith, and George (Jake) David Smith.
Being the youngest in his family, he grew up with many of his nephews and they were more like brothers. Over the years, he could count on them to give him a hand with just about any task that he needed help with, for which he was forever grateful.
Gerald lived a very full life until 2014 when COPD began to severely affect his breathing and placed many limitations on his life. He never let that slow him down until this past year when the disease began to take its toll and he began the journey to prepare for a possible lung transplant hopeful it would take place later this year. But God had other plans for Gerald. As heartbroken as we all are right now, we rest assured that our husband, father, grandfather, brother has been healed! He is breathing a new life given to him by our sweet Savior, Jesus Christ. He is reuniting with his parents and brothers. As lost as we all feel right now, we must find peace knowing he is healed. Without a doubt, our wonderful God welcomed home a good and faithful servant.
We are going to miss him deeply and treasure our many friends and family that have and will be supporting us in the coming days and weeks.
Friends will be received at the C & S Fredlock Funeral Home, P.A., 21 N 2nd St., Oakland, on Sunday, April 18, 2021 from 2-4 PM and 6-8 PM. A funeral service will be held at the Crossroads Church, 17781 Garrett Highway, Oakland on Monday, April 19, 2021 at 11 AM with Pastor Chris Baker officiating. Interment with military honors will be held in Kalbaugh Cemetery.
Special thanks to Dr. Goralski and Sonja Murphy of WVU Oakland Medicine for the compassionate care given to Gerald during his health journey; Dr. Sunil Sharma and Kassandra Olgers, WVU Morgantown, for their special care and guidance, especially during these last few weeks, Garrett County Home Health (Melvin, Nicole, Robin, and Irene), for their superb care and support. And to Chris Baker and Crossroads Church family for all the prayers to our very special friends, Roy Thomas, Bill Thomas, Terry Lewis, Mary Chaney, Lisa Freeland, Debbie Beitzel for standing by to support our family in any way possible. We all know we are going to need your prayers as much as now as before. Thank you.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Gerald's memory to the Crossroads Church building fund.
The C & S Fredlock Funeral Home, P.A., Oakland is honored to be serving the Smith family at this time.
To send flowers to Gerald's family, please visit our floral store.