Austin K. Smith, 64

Vietnam War veteran

November 18, 2006

Austin Keith Smith, former head of a school lunch program and decorated Vietnam War veteran, died of cancer Sunday at his Annapolis home. He was 64.

Mr. Smith was born in Detroit and raised in Phoenix, Ariz. He earned a bachelor's degree in marketing in 1965 from Arizona State University and a master's degree in human resources management in 1985 from Pepperdine University.

Mr. Smith served with an Army engineering unit in Vietnam in the late 1960s. He attained the rank of captain and was decorated with the Bronze Star.

From 1971 until 1986, he worked for the U.S. Department of Defense Commissary Agency as deputy director of its Northeast Region. He was chief of the school lunch program for the state Department of Education from 1996 until retiring because of health reasons in April.

Mr. Smith was a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, the Severna Park Assistance Network, Benfield Elementary School and the winter shelter at St. Martin's in the Field Episcopal Church in Severna Park.

An avid outdoorsman, Mr. Smith enjoyed hiking, rock climbing, skiing and cycling. He also participated in the annual Chesapeake Bay Polar Bear Plunge at Sandy Point State Park.

Mr. Smith lived in Arnold for 20 years and since 1998 had been an Annapolis resident. He was a member of St. Paul's Anglican Church in Crownsville.

A memorial service was held yesterday at St. Martin's in the Field Episcopal Church.

Surviving are his wife of 35 years, the former Emma Elizabeth Cowan; three daughters, Colleen L. Schiefelbein of Arnold; and Rachel Allison Zemaitatis and Sara Elizabeth Smith, both of Philadelphia; and two grandchildren.

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