Austin William Smith, a former Maryland Toll Facilities official and decorated World War II veteran, died of a heart attack Monday at his Severna Park home. He was 88.
Born in Cullman, Ala., he served in the Army for 20 years and fought in the Battle of the Bulge during World War II. He earned a Bronze Star "for heroic achievement in military action" during fighting in January 1945 in Belgium.
While on duty in Italy after the war, he met his future wife, Ester Franceschini. They married in Gorizia in the province of Venetia Julia in 1949.
Mr. Smith was later stationed in Kentucky and Clearfield, Pa., then served a year as an adviser in Vietnam. He retired in 1959 with the rank of major.
He and his family then settled in Glen Burnie, and he joined what was then called the Maryland State Roads Commission, now the State Highway Administration. He became director of administration for the Maryland Toll Facilities Administration and retired in 1983.
He was an avid reader of history and politics.
He was a fan of University of Alabama football and formerly coached Little League baseball in Glen Burnie.
He enjoyed spending his free time with his family.
A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 1 p.m. today at St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church, 689 Ritchie Highway in Severna Park, where he was a parishioner.
Survivors include his wife of 60 years; a daughter, Janie Ballard; three sons, Robert J. Smith of Monkton, Michael E. Smith of St. Mary's City and David G. Smith of Catonsville; four grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.