Nathaniel Bert Smith
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Nathaniel Bert Smith
  • June 17, 1918 - December 14, 2016
  • Oklahoma

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Not one to ever miss a great celebration, Nathaniel Bert Smith went to his Heavenly Father, just in time for the grandest celebration ever, Christmas!

Nat was the consummate gentleman, always a snappy dresser, with the most wonderful wit, engaging smile, and the kindest of hearts.

He was born in 1918, Wewoka, OK , to N. Bert Smith, Sr. and Willie Williams Smith. In 1921 the family moved to Oklahoma City. He attended The University of Oklahoma, where his studies and membership of the Beta pledge class of '37 were cut short by the advent of WWII.

During WWII, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant and served as an artillery battery commander in the 9th Armored Division, seeing action in Morocco, Tunisia, Sicily, England, D-Day, and the Battle of the Bulge. He was awarded the Bronze Star with four Oak Leaf Clusters during the near 3 years of this campaign. In 1950, he returned to serve in the Korean War as a battery commander in the famed Oklahoma 45th Division and retired as a Captain.

In 1949, Nat married Jean Rawlings of Lawton, OK and established a home in Oklahoma City, where they spent the next 47 years together, until Jean's passing in 1997. Nat's caring and love was endless towards his beloved wife and daughters Bonnie, Wiley and Malin.

After WWII, Nat returned to his studies to become a Petroleum Geologist. In 1949, he drilled his first well in the name of Smith and Cleary. Nat was a member of the Oklahoma City Geological Society throughout his career, and practiced geology well into his 80's. As a "car nut" and hobby, Nat had built his own car, beginning in his mother's garage and finishing in his own garage.

In 1984, Nat was honored at a celebration in the small seaside village of Cherbourg, France. The occasion was the 40th anniversary of D-Day. Nat and his best friend, Bill Donnelly, were part of the U.S. troops that landed on Omaha Beach, Normandy, France and were the first Americans to return to the village of Cherbourg since the horrors of war 40 years ago. Prior to his arrival in Cherbourg, Nat had sent a letter to the Mayor in which he shared a moving, but compassionate story about some of the town's people during the siege. While crawling through the tall beach grass towards his unit, Nat came upon an American and German soldier, both dead, face down, from an apparent duel. Moving on, he later returned to this scene to find that the local citizens had risked their lives in order to cover the American with flowers. At the above mentioned celebration, several of the town residents remembered the incident and shared their stories with the National Public Radio reporter that was present.

Indeed, he was one of the GREATEST GENERATION, giving over 5 years of service to his Country.

In his later years, Nat could be seen dining and dancing with his constant darling companion, Martha Mullally. The family of Nathaniel Bert Smith would like to especially thank Martha Mullally, daughter Megan, and her husband Nick Offerman. Megan thought of Nat as her father and been incredibly caring and generous towards Nat for the past 20 years.

Nat, himself and through his children, would like to thank all of the kind, patient, and loving caregivers at Tuscany Village, Oklahoma City, OK.

Nat is survived by daughter, Bonnie Smith Black and husband Jimmy Black. Grandchildren, Katie Black Poole and Jess Poole, Weezie Black Keiner and Chris Keiner. Great Grandchildren, Rawlings and J.W. Poole, Christopher Keiner; all of Greensboro, N.C.
Daughter, Wiley Smith Hugos and husband William B. Hugos, Malin Smith Phillips, and husband Dave Phillips. Grandchildren, Nat's name sake Natalie E. Hugos, Stewart Schroer, and Harrison Schroer; all of Oklahoma City.

Services will be at All Souls' Episcopal Church, 63rd and Pennsylvania on December 28th, 2016, at 1:00 P.M. In lieu of flowers, contributions to the Boys & Girls Club of Oklahoma city would be appreciated.

Arrangements under the direction of Hahn-Cook/Street & Draper Funeral Directors, Oklahoma City, OK.