Autley Benard (A. B.) Smith thumbnail

Autley Benard "A. B." Smith

December 13, 1921 - February 8, 2018

Autley Benard  (A.B.) Smith of West Monroe passed away peacefully February 8 surrounded by a loving wife and family.  He was 96 years old.  Services will be under the direction of Kilpatrick Funeral Home at 1321 N 7th, West Monroe. Visitation will be from 5:00 – 7:00PM Sunday, February 11, 2018 and services at 10:…read more

Autley Benard  (A.B.) Smith of West Monroe passed away peacefully February 8 surrounded by a loving wife and family.  He was 96 years old.  Services will be under the direction of Kilpatrick Funeral Home at 1321 N 7th, West Monroe. Visitation will be from 5:00 – 7:00PM Sunday, February 11, 2018 and services at 10:00AM Monday at the same location.  Interment will be at Halsey Cemetery in West Monroe.  Officiating the services will be Doctors Woods Watson and Mark Finn of First Baptist Church of West Monroe where Smith had been a member since 1956.

He was a WWII Veteran.  A sophomore at LSU when the US entered the war, he left school, married his childhood sweetheart, Nettie Hickman, and volunteered for service in the Army Air Corps.  He served 1942-44 in the European Theater, with the 8th Air Force, 486th Bombardment Group as nose gunner for a B-24 Liberator named Mike, Spirit of LSU.  On May 28, 1944 the crew delivered ordinance to a synthetic fuel dump at Lutzendorf, Germany.   When mechanical difficulties interrupted their return to Sudbury, England, the crew was forced to parachute over German occupied Belgium.  Smith managed to evade German capture for 6 months until Patton’s Army arrived.  He made life-long friends of dozens of brave Belgian Patriots who aided his successful evasion, at grave risks to themselves and their families.  In 1983 he wrote a book “A Place Remembered” about his WWII experience.

With the aid of the GI Bill he returned to LSU.  Upon graduating with a forestry degree he was hired by the Brown Papermill Company of West Monroe.  After 30 years of service he retired as Forestry Manager for Olinkraft, where he was responsible for 90 people and the management 570,000 acres of timberland.  From 1978 until his full retirement in 1987, he practiced forestry as a consultant.

An avid outdoorsman, he hunted over most of North America.  He had the good fortune make three African safaris.

First wife Nettie preceded him in death, as did daughters Annette Fife and Cynthia Jo Smith.

He is survived by his wife of eighteen years, Ruby Bain Smith, son Merlin (Jane) Smith, adoring stepdaughters Beth (Neil) Deen, Kay (Jimmy) Cobb and Fran (Johnny) Hilton.

His grandchildren are Cynthia (Christopher) Immel, Forrest Fife, Leslie (Edwin) Koenck, Marion (Bill) Willson, Ashley (Morgan) Herring, Katherine (Greg) Free, Dorothy Sullivan, Conn Hilton, David Wright, Kasie Wright and Darby Deen.

He is also survived by twelve great grandchildren and two great, great grandchildren.

Pallbearers are: Forrest Fife, Jimmy Cobb, Neil (Buddy) Deen, Johnny Hilton, Bill Willson, Edmond Willson, Gordon Willson and Brandon Burch.  Honorary Pallbearers are: Ray Ainsworth and Andy Adams.

The family wishes to express their appreciation to Connie Culpepper and the StoneyBrook Staff for their excellent care provided.  In lue of flowers the family suggests a donation to Chennault Aviation & Military Museum or a charity of your choice.

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Service Information

Visitation Information


Date: Sunday, February 11, 2018

Time: 05:00 pm - 07:00 pm

Kilpatrick Funeral Homes - West Monroe

Address:

1321 N 7th St.
West Monroe, LA 71291

Service Information


Date: Monday, February 12, 2018

Time: 10:00 am

Kilpatrick Funeral Homes - West Monroe

Address:

1321 N 7th St.
West Monroe, LA 71291

Cemetery Information


Date: Monday, February 12, 2018

Hasley Cemetery

Address:

West Monroe, LA

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