Howard Smith, 89, DHS Class of ’51, Publishing Executive, Traveled the World, Volunteered as a Docent

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Howard Paul Smith passed away in Portland, Maine on Aug. 24, 2022.

ObitBorn on March 25, 1933, he was the son of Howard Bull and Dorothy Paul Smith.

Howard was brought up in Darien and attended the public schools there, including Royal School and Darien High School. He was known as “Howie” by his classmates.

Upon Graduation from DHS in 1951, he attended Harvard College on a scholarship from the Harvard Club of New Canaan.  He resided in Winthrop House there and majored in government.

He was a member of AFROTC. After graduation in 1955 from Harvard, he  served three years in the United States Air Force. He was trained as a navigator on KC 97 tankers used for mid-air refueling.

Following his service, Howard earned a Master of Arts degree at New York University’s Graduate Institute of Book Publishing, and then spent 30 years in college textbook publishing, primarily with the McGraw-Hill Publishing Company. His several capacities included salesman, editor and marketing director.

In October 1975, he married Ann Margaret Vurgason in La Jolla, California. They lived in Old Greenwich and later in La Jolla. They traveled extensively to East Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Scandinavia, England, Alaska, Bermuda, and various National Parks.

After Ann died of cancer in 2004, Howard decided to move back to New England to be closer to his roots and to friends from long standing. In pursuit of his interest in American history, he has been a docent at Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s boyhood home in Portland.

He is survived by his sister, Barbara Wheeler; nephew, Erik Swain; niece, Kaersten Swain; and his “late in life love” Judy Clifford Scott.

In lieu of flowers a memorial contribution can be made to a scholarship fund to be established with Harvard College to help students wishing to attend Harvard. Checks can made payable to and mailed to Roger P. Asch, personal representative, Estate of Howard P. Smith, One Monument Way, Portland, ME 04101.

This obituary is from A.T. Hutchins Funeral and Cremation Services, where online condolences may be left.

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