Walter “Bud” Smith, 97, of Orange, beloved husband of the late Leontine “Lee” Smith, passed away peacefully with his family by his side on January 9, 2022. Born on December 27, 1924 in New Haven, he was the son of the late Walter H. and Adeline Smith and brother to the late Jane Wilcox. Bud grew up in Westville and was a graduate of Hillhouse High School. Facing the spectre of WWII, Bud enlisted in the United States Army at age 18 before he was captured at the Battle of the Bulge. He was liberated in Spring of 1945 and returned home to his family in Connecticut. Following his return, he attained his B.S in Engineering at the University of Connecticut.
After college, he began his lifelong business endeavor with his father in what would become Orange Hills Country Club, in Orange. With a group of 6 men, a bulldozer, and his handy crowbar, Bud cleared & built the back 9 holes at the golf course over 7 years. During the golf season he was a constant presence at the course, whether picking rocks in the fairway, setting up golf matches, or socializing with golfers in the clubhouse. Walter had a way of making golfers and employees alike feel like family, and he remained passionate for and actively involved in the family business up until the last days of his life. He was a proud member of the Wooster Lodge No. 79 A.F. & A.M, a Life Member of the CT Superintendents Association, and he was inducted into the CT State Golf Association Hall of Fame in 2000 for his Service to Golf.
Bud’s passion for and avid support of local sports teams started at age 8, when he and his friends snuck into a Yale Football game with a fake mascot bulldog (an imposter Handsome Dan). This began a lifelong tradition of attending and organizing tailgates for friends & family at the Yale football games. Later in life, UCONN basketball became another fixture of Bud’s – hardly a Lady Huskies’ basketball game transpired without his focused attention and play-by-play commentary.
More than anything, Walter loved and cherished spending time with all his family, and friends that he considered family. He is survived by his two children, son Jud W. and daughter Judith A. Smith, both of Orange; his 4 grandchildren Justin P. Morgan, Jennifer L. and spouse Katelin V. Morgan-Kohl, Rebecca S. Morgan, and Staci Baranchak; and his nephew John J. and spouse Lynn-Ann McGrail. He was predeceased by a son, Paul W. Smith and a daughter Patricia A. Henriques.
The family will be forever grateful for the loving care provided by Jirapha Glover, Maria Biondi, Rose Marie Green and Dawn Dalrymple.
Services are private at this time. There will be a Celebration of Life this Spring at Orange Hills Country Club. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Wreaths Across America, The Tommy Fund, or The Connecticut Association of Golf Course Superintendents (CAGCS).
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