Albert T. Schmith, career Army officer

March 09, 2010|By Frederick N. Rasmussen

Albert T. Schmith, a retired career Army officer who later was dean of students at the Johns Hopkins University, died of respiratory failure Feb. 23 at his Havre de Grace home. He was 75.

Mr. Schmith was born and raised in Providence, R.I., where he graduated from La Salle Academy in 1951.

He enlisted in the Army in 1951 and through the ROTC earned a bachelor's degree in economics in 1958 from Boston University and later a master's degree from George Washington University.

Mr. Schmith, who was a graduate of the Naval War College in Newport, R.I., served two tours in Vietnam from 1964 to 1965 and from 1969 to 1970. During his nearly three-decade career, he had been a field artillery officer, and had been executive officer of the 5th Battalion of the 81st Field Artillery, the Army's parachute field artillery unit.

He also had been a foreign area officer specialist with the Nuclear Weapons Security and Counterintelligence Unit in Europe.

From 1974 to his retirement with the rank of lieutenant colonel in 1978, Mr. Schmith was professor of military science in the ROTC program at Hopkins.

Mr. Schmith's decorations included the Bronze Star for valor and second oak leaf cluster, the National Defense Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster, and the Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster.

From the late 1970s until the early 1980s, Mr. Schmith was dean of students at Hopkins.

After leaving Hopkins, Mr. Schmith traveled throughout Europe and the Sinai Peninsula over more than a decade, teaching military writing skills at various Army installations and later at the Aberdeen Proving Ground and Harford Community College.

Mr. Schmith was an avid student of military history, especially World War II. He also was an avid gardener and a world traveler.

Services with full military honors will be held at 1 p.m. May 3 at Arlington National Cemetery.

Surviving are his wife of 26 years, the former Joanne Meszaros Ferrara; a son, Steven A. Schmith of Middletown, Del.; two daughters, Gayle B. Kelly of Lutherville and Deborah Schmith of Providence; a stepson, Jonathan A. Ferrara of New Orleans; and 11 grandchildren. Another stepson, David A. Ferrara, died last year. An earlier marriage to the former Jacqueline Bunar Williams ended in divorce.

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