OBITUARY: U.S. Air Force Vet, Retired Harris Supervisor Elwood ‘Butch’ Slater Smith, 85, Passed Away April 22
By Space Coast Daily // May 22, 2023
Butch spent 21 years in the United States Air Force in the Strategic Air Command
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Elwood “Butch” Slater Smith, 85, passed away on April 22, 2023, in Brevard County, Florida. Butch was born on March 7, 1938, in Braddock, Pennsylvania, to the late Elwood Slater Smith and Nancy Steel Smith.
Butch spent 21 years in the United States Air Force in the Strategic Air Command (SAC).
His career field was Quality Inspector in Aircraft, Missile, Avionics, and Ground Support. This included flying on the B-52 bombers as a missile observer to troubleshoot missile problems encountered during flight.
Other jobs performed were Safety Inspections, Crew Inspections, and Wing Airborne Missile Maintenance Squadron, keeping them in a high state of readiness.
Butch was stationed in several SAC Bases around the US. He was most proud of his years on the USAF Judo Team, where he held many titles and records.
After retiring, Butch relocated to Indialantic, Florida, where he worked for Harris Semiconductor as a second shift supervisor.
In January 1980, he accepted a position with White Sundstrand Machine Tool in San Diego, CA, a computerized milling-machine company. He and Joanie spent 10 years in CA, loving every second and making life-long friends there.
Butch and Joanie were married in CA in a 100-year-old log cabin with six of their best friends. From there, they moved back to Florida in the Orlando area, where Butch became a Realtor and worked as a realtor until he retired in 2000.
In 2015 they moved back to the east coast of Florida to their Little Piece of Paradise.
Butch was a man who loved life and appreciated everything he had, taking nothing for granted. He was honest, respectful, creative, caring, and a fun-loving person.
He cared deeply about his family, friends, and four-legged fur babies (11 dogs and two cats). Butch loved flying small planes, seaplanes, and multi-engine planes and being a flight instructor. Butch and Joanie loved more than anything riding their Harley all over the US, rain or shine, as long as they were together, it truly was their ‘Happy Place’ together.
Butch and Joanie were married for 43 incredibly beautiful years filled with adventures, respect, fun, and true love for each other.
Butch is survived by his wife, Joanie Pluchino Smith, daughter Kim A. Lanham, granddaughters Alex Logan McEwen and Taylor Jordan McEwen, and many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his father, Elwood Slater Smith, mother Nancy Steel Smith, daughter Tammy R. Smith, son Elwood (Trey) S. Smith, sisters Gayle Reese and Dawn Herr, and brother-in-laws Les Reese and Barry Herr.
Butch and Joanie were members of Silver Star Christian Church in Orlando and currently CenterPointe Church, Palm Bay, FL. As Butch would always say:
“LIVE EVERYDAY LIKE IT’S YOUR LAST BECAUSE YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN THE DANCE WILL BE OVER” MII.
Services for Elwood “Butch” S. Smith will be held at Cape Canaveral National Cemetery in Mims, Florida.