Dick Smith Memorial Hockey Scholarship
Longtime Anchorage resident Richard Jay “Dick” Smith was born Oct. 9, 1946, to Walter W. and Nellie M. Smith, in Sunnyside, Washington. He graduated from Lyle High School in Lyle, Washington, in 1965. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in December 1965. He attained the rank of Sergeant E5. After completing basic training at Fort Ord, California, he was transferred to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. He then was assigned to Bamberg, Germany, as an atomic demolition munitions technician where he served until he was honorably discharged in 1968. Smith remained in the Army in reserve status until 1971.
In 1974, Smith accepted a transfer with Cummins Diesel Northwest and moved to Anchorage. He was later employed by Computerland, Network Business Systems and served as district manager with Frontier Business Systems/Konica Minolta beginning in 2002 and until the time of his death. He met his wife Patricia “PJ” in September 1977. It was “love at first sight” and they married on Nov. 18, 1977.
Smith was valued and well known in the hockey community for his relentless support of programs — youth hockey was a favorite. He served as secretary (1993-94) and president (1994-2002) of the Alaska State Hockey Association. He also served as Alaska’s representative in the Pacific District of USA Hockey during these years. During 2002-2005, Smith served as vice president of the USA Hockey Adult Council. He also supported hockey at the college level. He served as president of the UAA Blueliner Club during 1988-1991, and was a member of that board for some 25 years. In 1997, he was awarded the Brush Christiansen Trailblazer Award. He and PJ, as 25-year ticket holders, enjoyed many, many games at the arena.
His family wrote: “Dick was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. He cherished all of the friends he made during his 38 years living in Alaska. Along with his love of Hockey he also enjoyed woodworking, house remodeling and camping in Chicken, Alaska, with family and ‘his people,’ a term he lovingly used to describe his dear friends. Dick was known for his fairness and ‘can do’ attitude. One of his favorite questions to anyone struggling with a large problem was ‘How do you eat an Elephant?’ Answer: ‘One bite at a time.’ Dick was a very caring person and gave of himself in many ways. He provided moral support for many hockey players in times of need, as well as means for them to attend programs, practices, and tournaments. He was an extremely generous person, willing to share with those who needed a little extra help. His door was always open!”
One of Dick’s favorite verses by his good friend Mike McDonald was: “There will be peace in the world, there will be peace in the world someday. There will be peace in the world, Peace when the children have their say.”
Dick Smith passed away in 2012.