Herman Wilson Smith was born in Horn Hill Community, Texas. He attended Horn Hill Grammar School and Groesbeck High School. He was given a diploma after the 11th grade and promptly drafted into the 1st infantry Division in Europe where he carried a Browning automatic rifle.
Herman survived the Battle of Hurtgen Forest. His feet were frozen in the Battle of the Bulge, where in a fire fight he received a small wound. He turned down the Purple Heart. He felt he could not wear what was given to those who suffered severe wounds.
After the war he worked in construction as a masonry superintendent and as a field engineer in most of the southern and mid-west states. He was proud of his participation on the Astrodome in Houston, the Scott & White Hospital in Temple, the Frank Erwin Center at UT & the Myriad Convention Center in Oklahoma City. In 1980, he went to work as a Construction Inspector for the University of Texas, where he retired at 71.
He was a 32 degree Scottish Rite Mason and a member of the Ben Hur Shrine Director's Staff of the Legion of Honor.
He made several trips back to Europe. One in 1998 was at the invitation of the German soldiers from the Hurtgen Forest battle.
He cared very deeply for Jean Baker, her friends & family. He often called those the happiest days of his life.
The family would like to thank Dr. Shannon Cox & staff, Dr. Michael Kasper @ Texas Oncology & staff, Princess Villarreal, Dr. Jonathan Sheinberg & staff at the Hospital at Westlake, and the staff at Longhorn Village (Lantana Lodge and Casa Mesquite).
Herman is survived by his son Jim Smith and wife Pat, son Mike Smith and wife Sue, daughter Melinda Lewis and husband Barry & daughter-in-law Bonnie Bain; grandchildren Aaron Smith, Barrett Lewis, Bethany Lewis, & Colin McClelland; adopted grandchildren, Laurie Miesch, Jackson Baker & DeLayne.
Private services will be held in Groesbeck, Texas. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to a charity of your choice.