SMITH, Rollie Bittick
March 20, 2013 12:00 AM | 967 views | 2 2 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Rollie (“Pete”) Bittick (née Jack) Smith, 87, of Covington, GA., formerly of Smyrna, GA, died March 16, 2013. Mr. Smith, also known as “Pete,” the son of the late Vernon William and Florrie Bittick Smith, was born Jan. 23, 1926, in Miami, FL. His family lived in numerous Georgia towns during his youth as his father travelled as an engineer with the State Highway Department of Georgia. Pete graduated from Wrightsville High School in 1943. He entered the Navy in 1944, and after being honorably discharged, he graduated from Georgia Institute of Technology. Pete and Martha Renee Veal of Atlanta were married in 1952, and the couple settled in Smyrna, GA. where Mr. Smith was employed by Lockheed Aircraft Co. as an aeronautical engineer. They raised four children before Martha passed away in 1981. Mr. Smith retired from Lockheed in 1985, and married his second wife, Francine Bennett, in 1986. The couple moved to Covington in 2006. Mr. Smith was a charter member of First United Lutheran Church in Kennesaw, GA and prior to that was an active member at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Smyrna, GA, where he served as a president of the congregation and as a Sunday school teacher. He enjoyed reading, gardening, wood working and his pet dogs. Pete also loved blue-water sailing on his boat, “Le Vol,” which he sailed from Panama City, FL to New York City Harbor and back in 1986 for the unveiling of the refurbished Statue of Liberty. Survivors include his wife, Francine Bennett Smith, daughters Melinda (Mindy) S. Garrett and her husband, Mark, Marietta, GA, Amy S. Knowles and her husband, Steve, Conway, AR, son John Maxwell (Max) Smith, Carrollton, GA, and stepdaughter Bobbie Blakley and her husband Jim Blakley, Littleton, CO. Pete and Martha’s son, Rollie Jack Smith, Mr. Smith’s stepson, Stanley Kugler, and Mr. Smith’s brother, Vernon W. Smith, Jr. predeceased him. Thirteen grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and a number of nieces and nephews also survive. He is preceded in death by Vernon William Smith Jr. The funeral service will be held Thursday, March 21, at 11 a.m. with Rev. Jeremy Hall officiating, and visitation with the family will be immediately before at 10 a.m. at Wheeler Funeral Home, Covington. A graveside service will be at Kennesaw Memorial Park, Marietta, GA at 2:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in memory of Mr. R.B. Smith and designated for the Wheelchair Basketball Team to BlazeSports America, 535 N. McDonough Street, Decatur, GA 30030, Wheeler Funeral Home, 11405 Brown Bridge Road, Covington, Ga. 30016.

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Jhn M. Smith, (Max)
April 08, 2013
I've called him a whole lot of things; Dad, Pa, Pop, Old Man, Father, silly old bear. I never called him anything that didn't mean what he meant to me. He never cussed at us, never raised his voice, much. He was home every night. His hugs lasted a few seconds, but each and every one of them are felt today.

His compassion and understanding could only be measured against his patience and tolerance for, and of, his kids. It is beyond my understanding.

As a child he spend part of his time living on or near the coast just before the war, and he learned not to speak of things that were not of immediate concern to those present. It stuck with him. He kept a lot of things to himself, and would not volunteer any news about anyone we knew, unless we pried it out of him. That seemed to be a fault, until I realized, no one would hear about my exploits unless it was pried out. He was a protector in that way.

You may have had the best childhood you could want, all on your own, but I doubt anyone would not consider themselves to be blessed to be raised under my fathers roof.

It was not just his family, and his church, that he was devoted too, he stayed over thirty-five years at the same job. He never brought it home with him. The one reason he gave me, as to why he bought the house he did, was so he could easily walked to work if he had too. He never had to walk that I know of, but I know he would, and be on time doing it.

'Mr. Rollie B. Smith, Esquire' was his title. 'Pete' was the name everyone called the man. 'Dad', is who he was for me.

March 24, 2013
Pete was a "man-among-men". Always giving without expecting return. He was a craftsman at any craft he chose to pursue. Personally, I have and will recall daily of him, the one of several furniture items he handcrafted. An elaborate bedside bench, which I daily use. An item of many which is still, after more than 20-years young, as attractive and useful as the day Pete completed it. I am grateful Pete gave me his daughter, my wife of more than 35-years, who fortunately shares the same admirable qualities that her father Pete exemplified.
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