Elwood and Martha Smith

Elwood and Martha SmithFormer longtime China Lake and Ridgecrest residents Elwood G. “Smitty” and Martha L. Smith, ages 93 and 84, passed away within hours of each other in their home in Oceanside, California, on March 6th and 7th. After 65 years of marriage, they held hands their entire last day together.

Smitty’s service to our country began with his entry into the Army Air Corps in 1943. WW II took him to the Asiatic Pacific Theater including Iwo Jima. He earned awards and medals, two of which were bronze service stars. He was honorably discharged as a sergeant in 1946. He continued into the Navy Civil Service. In total he served over fifty years between 1943 and his final retirement. Smitty was noted for his work on vital optic systems for Sidewinder and Tomahawk missiles.

Martha and Smitty moved to China Lake in 1959. Martha became an assistant Scout leader and attended Bakersfield College (Now CCCC). She was a stay at home mom except for three years when she worked for the college as acting librarian and secretary. She excelled at creating clothing, costumes and celebrations for her family. She enjoyed gourmet cooking. She always thanked God for the endearing years of care and love between herself and Smitty. Smitty said that if he could, he would do it all over again.

Smitty and Martha enjoyed a great life together. They loved traveling across the country with their children, camping and fishing.

Both were active in their church. Smitty served as Junior Warden and Martha on the Altar Guild. Martha also had a card ministry. They each served for many years.

They are survived by their four children: Paula Marie, Christopher Michael, James Patrick and Jessica Morgan. They are also survived by Nasser, Lee Ann, Julie and Ali. They have eleven grandchildren: Nassim, Jenna, Rashid, Tobias, Ryan, Chelsea, Loel and his wife Kari, Dylan, Elizabeth, Benjamin, Hadi and one great grandson, Jackson. Smitty is survived by a sister, Eleanor S. Bernard, sister-in-law Mollie Wright and nieces Melanie Smith, Sally Robinson and Linda Vinson. Martha is survived by her sister, Nancy Lambert.

Funeral services will be held at H.K. Holland Memorial Chapel, 1 p.m. on Friday, March 22. A graveside service will follow at Desert Memorial Park.

— Submitted by the family of Elwood and Martha Smith

Story First Published: 2019-03-15