Chester Norton Smith, 91, passed away Saturday, April 16, 2011, at Providence Hospital in Medford, Ore., after a brief illness.

Chet was born on November 18, 1919, in Eagle Point, Ore. A lifelong resident of the Rogue Valley and a member of one of its pioneering families, his maternal grandparents came across on the Oregon Trail from Sandusky, Ohio, in 1852. He was the son of John and Cora Smith, and a brother of Hazel Edmondson. Chester married Alba Bianchi, on February 5, 1946, in Long Beach, Calif.

Chester Smith had a rich upbringing in the hills, valleys, and hunting grounds of the Rogue Valley, and made the rounds of valley dairy farms for Rogue Creamery before joining the United States Navy in 1942. He served throughout the Pacific Theatre in World War II and the Korean War, and retired as a Torpedoman Chief Petty Officer in 1966. Upon returning to Medford, he became a Teamster as a hauler for City Sanitary Service, from which he retired in 1983. He was a member of the Benevolent Protective Order of the Elks, Medford Lodge No. 1168, for over 30 years.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 60 years, Alba Bianchi Smith; and his son, Dale Smith. He is survived by his daughter, Teresina Miriam Smith (Paul) Christy, of Fairfax, Va.; and his daughter-in-law, Patricia Smith of Medford, Ore.; grandchildren, Alexandria, Max, Mike, Wendy, Guy, Brad, and Dane; and six great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held in May 2011, and notice will be posted at that time. Arrangements are by Conger-Morris Funeral Home, Medford, Ore. Memorial contributions may be made to Mercy Flights.