Morris G. Smith, real estate agent

March 31, 1993|By Staff Report

Morris G. Smith, a real estate agent and former teacher who became known as Turkey Smith during his days as an Ellicott City turkey farmer, died Sunday of heart and kidney failure at the Lorien Nursing and Convalescent Home in Columbia.

The 86-year-old Ellicott City resident came to the Baltimore area in 1930 and became a mechanical drawing teacher and assistant football coach at the Polytechnic Institute. Three years later, he began serving in the same capacities at City College, where he remained until he retired from teaching in 1949.

In 1939, he and his wife had started the Dixie Lee Turkey Farm in Ellicott City, which they operated for nearly 30 years. During this time, Mr. Smith served as president of the Maryland Turkey Growers Association and the National Turkey Foundation.

He often presented Thanksgiving turkeys to the White House, including one for President John F. Kennedy a week before the president was slain in Dallas.

From 1965 until 1970, the Smiths lived in St. Louis, where Mr. Smith operated a car rental business, which was part of a group that organized American International Car Rental.

After returning to Ellicott City, he became a real estate agent for several firms, most recently Long & Foster. He kept active in the real estate business in the summer, while living in Ocala, Fla., in the winter from 1980 until 1991.

In Ellicott City, he was also a member of the Kiwanis Club and the Patmos Lodge of the Masons and was one of the founders of the Glen Mar United Methodist Church.

Born in Centralia, Ill., he was a 1930 graduate of what is now Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Ill., where he played on the same football team as folk singer Burl Ives. He also did graduate work at Ohio State University.

His wife of 60 years, the former Mildred Dunbar, died in 1991.

Services were to be conducted at 11 a.m. today at the Glen Mar United Methodist Church, 8430 Glen Mar Road, Ellicott City.

Mr. Smith is survived by three daughters, Dixie Miliner of Ellicott City, Shirley Adams of Columbia and Sharon Lawson of Havre de Grace; and seven grandchildren.

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