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Obituary: Sylvester G. "Sy" Smeltzer '77

Sylvester G. "Sy" Smeltzer, 83, passed away Friday, Jan. 4, 2013, in Georgetown, Texas. He was born Feb. 22, 1929, to Virgil C. Smeltzer and Caroline M. Smeltzer. He was raised in Greensburg, where he graduated from Greensburg High School in 1947. There he met his loving wife, Olga Joanne Smeltzer, whom he married on Sept. 12, 1950. In August of 1947, he enlisted in the Air Force. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Rutgers University and a master's degree of education in rehabilitation administration from Antioch College in Ohio. Then, after 21 dutiful years of service in the Air Force, he retired as a senior master sergeant. After the completion of his military career, he began work as a vocational rehab counselor before becoming the regional supervisor and eventually director of Vocational Rehabilitation at the Texas Commission for the Blind. Sy was a proud member of both the Rutgers Alumni Association and the Air Force Sergeants Association. He enjoyed a love of history and tradition, traveling the country and beyond with his family, his camera ever present in his hand to document every adventure. He was so proud to capture the wonderful memories of each adventure for his children and grandchildren whom he cherished. He was a quiet man who loved to be in the presence of his family and would just smile as they laughed and carried on. Once everyone was quiet enough to listen he could tell some amazing stories of his life in the military and other adventures. Sy also found enjoyment in working with his hands, especially through carpentry, creating beautiful furniture and a variety of birdhouses. He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Henry Charles Smeltzer; and wife, Olga Joanne Smeltzer. He is survived by his daughters, Sandra Ropka, of San Antonio, Texas, Janet Brunette and husband, Gerry, of Georgetown, Texas, and Sharon Mott and husband, George, of Houston, Texas; grandchildren, Shannon Anthony and husband Nick, Ryan Ropka and Crista Smith, Ashley Brunette and Casey Mott; great-grandchildren, Josiah Ropka and Gavin Anthony; brothers, Virgil L. Smeltzer and wife, Rose, of Minnesota, and Eugene E. Smeltzer and wife, Sharon, of Pennsylvania; and sister, Helen L. Stahle and husband, Ned, of Pennsylvania. Friends are cordially invited to a visitation with the family from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 10, at COOK-WALDEN DAVIS FUNERAL HOME in Georgetown, Texas. The funeral service will be conducted at 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11, in Georgetown Church of Christ with Elder Bill Powell officiating. Interment will follow in Cook Walden Capital Parks Cemetery in Pflugerville, Texas. Serving as pallbearers will be Eugene Smeltzer, Ryan Ropka, Casey Mott, Nick Anthony and Rob Walters. Honorary pallbearers will be George Mott and Gerry Brunette. Memorial contributions may be made in Sy's honor to the Wounded Warrior Project at http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org. Words of comfort may be shared with the family by going to http://www.cookwaldendavisfuneralhome.com