Wilbur George Smith, 90, general manager of plant

May 14, 2002

Wilbur George Smith, a mechanical engineer and former general manager of Bethlehem Steel's Sparrows Point plant, died Thursday of heart failure at Blakehurst Life Care Community in Towson. He was 90.

Mr. Smith, formerly of Lutherville and a resident of the retirement community since 1995, was born in Elgin, Ill., and raised in Deposit, N.Y., where he graduated from high school. After earning a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1934, he began his 36-year career with Bethlehem Steel Corp. at Lackawanna, N.Y.

He was promoted to assistant superintendent of the strip mill at the Lackawanna plant in 1950, assistant general manager in 1952, and general manager in 1958. He was named general manager at Sparrows Point in 1962, a position he held until retiring in 1970.

Mr. Smith's civic interests included the Chamber of Commerce, Red Cross, United Way, Civil Defense and the Greater Baltimore Committee, for which he was chairman of the organization's committee on mass transit. He also had been a member of the board of Provident Savings Bank.

He was an avid vegetable gardener, golfer and swimmer, and enjoyed photography. He was also an accomplished cabinetmaker, building furniture in his woodshop.

He was a member of Towson Presbyterian Church, Baltimore Country Club and the L'Hirondelle Club.

In 1935, he married Janet D. VanCott, who died in 1992. A daughter, Janet McQuilken, died in 1975.

Services were held yesterday.

Surviving are a son, Craig W. Smith of Bloomfield, Conn.; a daughter, Carole D. Augenstein of Columbus, Ohio; four grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

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