Paul J. Smith Sr., 60, a civilian mortuary officer for the U.S. Air Force Mortuary Service in Athens, Greece, died Monday of an aneurysm at a military hospital in Frankfurt, Germany, where he had gone for surgery.
A former Silver Spring resident, Mr. Smith was an embalmer and funeral director in Washington and in Silver Spring from 1947 to 1967. In 1967 and 1968, he worked for the Army Mortuary Service in Vietnam. He then returned to this area and worked for local mortuaries until joining the Air Force Mortuary Service in about 1977.
Mr. Smith was responsible for Air Force mortuary services in the Middle East and parts of Europe.
He lectured frequently on the funeral business to local civic and fraternal groups and contributed articles to trade magazines, including the "American Funeral Director."
Mr. Smith was born in Laurel, Del., and graduated from the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science. In 1977, he was the keynote speaker at the college's graduation ceremonies.
He was a member of the Maryland Funeral Directors Association and served on the board of the Maryland State Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers from 1974 to 1977.
He was a member of the Silver Spring Lions and Elks clubs.
Mr. Smith served in the Army during World War II.
Survivors include his wife, Alice Lankford Smith, now of Silver Spring; a son, Paul J. Jr., of Laurel, Md.; another son, Scott L., and a daughter, Sharon Cowell, both of Silver Spring; his mother, Bertha Smith of Laurel, Del.; two brothers,James, of Arlington, and Donald, of Laurel, Del.; four sisters, Gertrude Hudson of Milford, Del., Madeline Hasting of Blades, Del., JoAnn Bailey of Laurel, Del., and Thelma Smart of Seaford, Del., and two grandsons.