Arza Smalley
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Arza Smalley
  • January 29, 1920 - July 6, 2017
  • Alexandria, Virginia

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Demaine Funeral Home

520 South Washington Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
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Arza George Smalley (Age 97)


Passed away peacefully in his sleep on July 6, 2017, in Alexandria, Virginia. Arza was born on January 29, 1920, to the late Arza and Mildred Smalley, in Sylvania, Ohio.


As a teenager, Arza learned to play golf and caddied at the Highland Meadows Golf Club in Sylvania, Ohio, where he worked under Herman Lang. Arza left high school before graduating to work in the pro shop at the Warren Valley Golf Course in Dearborn, Michigan. He sent money home to his mother to help support the family. On October 23, 1941, he was inducted into the Army at Fort Custer, Michigan. He was stationed at Camp Walters in Texas and Camp Adair in Oregon before embarking on his service in the Army of the United States, 96th Infantry Division, 382nd Regiment, G Company. On October 20, 1944, he landed on Leyte, Philippines, in the initial campaign on Leyte. On March 11, 1945, he received a battlefield commission as 2nd Lieutenant. On April 1, 1945, Easter Sunday, he landed on Okinawa, Japan, on the first day of invasion of the island. He would serve only one week until he was seriously wounded in action. For wounds suffered on Leyte and Okinawa, Arza was awarded the Purple Heart with one Oak Leaf Cluster. Arza was later awarded the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious achievement in ground combat against the armed enemy during World War II in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater of Operations.

Arza returned to the United States for treatment at Fletcher General Hospital in Cambridge, Ohio, where he met his wife, Betty, who was a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army Nurse Corps. In 1946, shortly before Arza retired, Betty and he were married. They lived in Toledo, Ohio, where Arza worked for the Electric Auto-Lite Company. He began working for the U.S. Post Office in 1954 as a Clerk. He worked under Francis Szollosi and Frank Goldie in Toledo, before transferring to U.S. Postal Service Headquarters as an Operations Analyst in Washington, DC, until his retirement in 1980.


Left to cherish his memory are his loving daughter Janet Smalley; son Byron Smalley and partner Tan Do; brother James Smalley of Toledo; sister in law Mary Morrison of Fairborn, Ohio; and brother in law James Morrison of Thornville, Ohio. Arza was predeceased by Betty his loving wife of 69 years (2015); his infant son Gary (1953); and his brothers and sisters Mable, Charles, Frank, Bette, and John.


After retirement, Arza and Betty attended twenty-one 96th Infantry Division Deadeyes reunions held in a different state each year and enjoyed site seeing. Arza golfed several days a week at Ft. Belvoir, VA; he enjoyed doing calligraphy for a time; his only time to the Washington National Zoo was at 84 years; and he and Betty attended special events at American Horticultural Society (River Farm) where they were members.


The family will receive guests on Saturday, July 15, 2017 from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Demaine Funeral Home, 520 S. Washington Street, Alexandria,

Virginia 22314. The burial at Arlington National Cemetery, with full military honors, will be at a later date.


In Arza's memory, he would appreciate gifts to: The USO, supporting America's military service members, at www.uso.org, Or to The First Tee, supporting the lives of young people through the game of golf, at www.thefirsttee.org.