Russell Lee Smith
Russell Lee Smith

September 13, 1924 - May 19, 2017
Born in Cincinnati, OH
Resided in Centerville, OH


Russell Lee Smith of Cincinnati passed away in Centerville, OH on Friday, May 19, 2017 at the age of 92.

Russ was born on September 13, 1924 in Cincinnati, OH - son of the late William Ray Smith and Catherine Margaretha Miller of Cincinnati. He is survived by his beloved wife of 68 years, Elizabeth Luden (Ostholthoff) Smith; siblings Ray (the late Joann Kohlmeyer) Smith of Cleves, OH, Daniel Smith (the late Mary Ann) of Leesburg, FL, and Susan (Helmut) Linne von Berg of Port Royal, VA, and daughters; Karen (Eddie) Hughes, Nancy (John) Morrow, Laura (Edward) Kopicky, and Cynthia (Kelly) King, as well as fifteen grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and several dear nieces and nephews.

After graduating from Western Hills High School in Cincinnati, Russ enlisted in the US Army Air Corps in January 1943, where he attained the rank of Staff Sergeant. For the following two years, Russ served during World War II in India as a cartographer with the 9th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron. Following his honorable discharge from military service, he returned to Cincinnati to continue his education, earning a Degree of Mechanical Engineer (1950) from the University of Cincinnati as well as a Master of Business Administration (1956) from Xavier University.

Russ spent his professional career in the paper industry, specifically corrugated packaging, with such organizations as Mead Container Corporation and Ward Machinery. Throughout his career, Russ contributed innovative engineering expertise leading to various corrugated container production standards, process improvements, and techniques still in use today. He later established R.L. Smith Associates consulting firm and traveled worldwide providing mentoring and educational seminars to others in the industry. Additionally, Russ authored several texts on the topic of corrugated container production – including two volumes housed at the Library of Congress - that have since become industry standards.

In recognition of his contributions to the corrugated container industry, Russ received both the Division Technical Award (1982), the Harry J. Bettendorf Prize (1982), and a Lifetime Achievement Award (2002) from the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPPI). In addition, he was most recently honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award (2015) from the International Association of Diecutting and Diemaking (IADD).

A long-time Cincinnati resident, Russ maintained involvement in various ministries and outreach activities at his church, including volunteering at Saint Joseph Home in Cincinnati. He enjoyed attending Bible Study, fellowship with members of his Men's Group, and assisting with Right of Christian Initiation (RCIA) courses at his parish of Saint Gertrude Catholic Church. Additionally, he was a Lay Franciscan with the National Fraternity of the Secular Franciscan Order USA. Woodworking, photography, gardening, and golf were among his favorite hobbies, as well as creating precious memories with his extended family and lavishing love on his favorite four-legged friends. We are forever thankful to have had the opportunity to call him a loving spouse, father, grandfather, and friend.

A celebration of Russ's life will be held at Saint Gertrude Catholic Church, 6543 Miami Avenue, Cincinnati, OH, on Thursday, May 25, 2017 with a Mass of Christian Burial at 9:30 AM. Interment will follow at a graveside service at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Cincinnati, OH.
The family extends sincere appreciation to Heartland Hospice of Dayton, Touching Hearts at Home of Dayton, and Home Healthcare by Black Stone for all of the loving and personal care they provided.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the following: Dominican Foundation, 141 East 65th Street, New York, NY 10065; Friar Works: The Franciscan Friars, 1615 Vine Street, Suite. 1, Cincinnati, OH 45202, or a charity of one's choice.




Mass of Christian Burial
St. Gertrude Church
7630 Shawnee Run Road
Cincinnati, OH US 45243
Thursday, May 25, 2017
9:30 AM
Gate of Heaven Cemetery
11000 Montgomery Road
Cincinnati, OH US 45249
Section: St. Luke Mausoleum
Lot: 24-C
Thursday, May 25, 2017