Lance R. Smith, 71, of Greenfield, passed into the arms of the Lord our Father on Feb. 17, 2016. He was born on February 5, 1945 in Hartford, CT., as the son of Laurence P. and Marjorie H. (West) Smith. He graduated from Warren Central in 1963. Lance married Linda J. (Burton) on Oct. 3, 1964, in Indianapolis.
After graduating from high school Lance began working in the sprinkler industry as an Apprentice with Culligan Fire Protection. In 1965, he joined Local 669 and continued working in the industry until his retirement in 2000. Throughout his years in the field, he was both a Mentor and Teacher to many young Apprentices and Journeymen. He was tough on his students but prided himself on the knowledge and work ethic he instilled and expected from them. Lance also retired from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Safety Patrol where he was a supervisor for many years before retiring in 2012.
He was a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 17, a lifetime member of the NRA and a true Patriot. He was nationally ranked in the USTA in both mixed and men’s doubles and was an Indiana State Champion in archery. Lance was a former parachutist and member of the United States Parachute Association. Lance was also a precinct judge for the Hancock County Republican Party.
He was both a hunter and wildlife rehabilitator and, of course, enthusiastic Parrothead! Lance was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed forests, oceans, mountains, and rivers alike. He spent many hours throughout his life riding his motorcycle, camping, canoeing and sailing. He passed his passion for our planet (and Jimmy Buffet) on to his daughter from a very young age and she continues to carry on his legacy and hopes to instill the same in his grandson.
Lance is survived by his beloved daughter, Kelley L. (Stephan) Basey of Greenfield; grandson, Graeme Parker Basey of Greenfield; brothers, Ronald R. Smith of Indianapolis and Wayne A. (Judy) Smith of Plymouth, Ind.; nieces, Eileen and Vicki Smith both of Toomsuba, Miss.; nephew, Brian Smith of Plymouth, Ind. and his crazy cat, Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt.
He was preceded in death by his greatest love, wife Linda J. Smith; parents, Laurence P. and Marjorie H. Smith; nephew, Brett Smith; his loyal Labrador of 13 years, Samuel “Sam” Clemens and his macaw, Jessie.
Visitation will be held from 3:30-6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016, at Erlewein Mortuary & Crematory, 1484 W. US Hwy. 40, Greenfield, IN 46140. A celebration of life will take place immediately following the visitation at 6:30 p.m. Deacon Wayne Davis will be officiating. Inurnment will take place at a later date at Grovelawn Cemetery in Pendleton.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent directly to Graeme Basey’s Eagle Scout Project “Pennsy Trail Bat Houses,” c/o Greenfield Banking Company, 1920 N. State Street, Greenfield, IN 46140 or Greenfield Hancock County Animal Management, 809 S. State Street, Greenfield, IN 46140 and envelopes will be available at the mortuary. If you prefer…simply sit back, relax, have a margarita, listen to some island music, and imagine the warm coastal breezes blowing through your hair as the cool waves wash over your toes; Lance will also be there raising his margarita glass with you!