Charles O. Smith

Charles O. Smith of Viola, died of natural causes Thursday, Oct. 17, 2002, in Bayhealth-Kent General Hospital, Dover. He was 70. Mr. Smith was born Nov. 7, 1931, in Burlington, Vt., son of the late Charles Smith Sr. and Greta (Bates) Smith. He served in the U.S. Air Force, serving his entire enlistment in the fire service. He then went to work at the Robbins Hose Co. in Dover as dispatcher, then transferred to the city of Dover's Inspection Department and made deputy fire marshal. He retired in 1980. Mr. Smith was an active member of Felton Community Fire Co. with 42 years of service. He served on the ambulance service and as fire recorder, fire historian and president of the fire company. He was an active member of the Kent County Fire Police Association and served on a number of committees, and as first vice president. He was selected as second vice president of the Delaware State Fire Police Association at the 1981 convention. He was a member of the executive committee of the Delaware State Volunteer Firemen's Association, with service on many committees. He was a member of the VCF Ruritan Club, and served on its board of directors. Deeply involved in NASCAR, he was the founder of the Richard Petty Mini Museum. Richard and Kyle Petty were the official ribbon-cutters for the opening. He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Diana G. Smith of Viola; three nieces, Lois Condos, Lola Brisson and Lynn Pelli, all of Vermont; two nephews, George Bergeron and Gary Bergeron, both of Vermont; and a sister-in-law, Doris Creg of Dexter, Mo.

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