Leon "Butch" "Smitty" Carol Smith

Navy Badge
  • Name: Leon "Butch" "Smitty" Carol Smith
  • Location of Birth: Verona Township, Faribault County, Minnesota
  • Date of Birth: March 8, 1922
  • Date of Death: September 1, 2015 (93 years old)
  • Parents: Delson Smith and Minnie (Smith) Smith
  • High School and Class: 1939 - Granada High School, Granada, Minnesota
  • College:
  • Highest Rank: Chief Gunner's Mate
  • Branch: Navy
  • Other Branch:
  • Date Sworn In: August 7, 1942
  • Place Sworn In: Martin County, Minnesota
  • Date of Discharge: December 28, 1945
  • Place of Discharge: Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Units and Locations:
    Start Date End Date Unit(s) and Location(s) Served
    Great Lakes, Illinois
    Portsmouth, Rhode Island
    Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
    Marshall Islands - Southwest Pacific
    Philippine Islands - Southwest Pacific
    Papua, New Guinea and Leyte Gulf, Philippine Islands - Southwest Pacific
    Solomon Islands - Southwest Pacific
  • Military Awards:

  • Military Highlights:
    Leon enlisted in the Navy on August 7, 1942 and volunteered to serve on either submarines or Patrol Torpedo boats. He served on a PT Boat in the South Pacific as a chief gunner's mate and as a Chief Petty Officer until he was honorably discharged on December 28, 1945.

    Leon is the veteran pictured on the right side in the two images that are shown above.

  • Wars Involved:
    World War II

  • MIA / POW:

  • Civilian Life:
    Leon was married to Marjorie "Midge" Louise Nelson on May 18, 1948. They resided in Granada, Minnesota where he served as Postmaster.

    They had two children, Diane Hedberg and Steven. Leon served as Boy Scout master, volunteer fire fighter and school board chairman.

    Leon and Midge enjoyed their retirement years at their lake place in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Leon loved hunting, fishing, chopping wood, daily games of cribbage with Midge, and enjoying time with his family and many good friends. He had a fun sense of humor and enjoyed recalling hunting and fishing stories with laughter to the point of tears.

    In 2013, Leon and Midge moved to a senior living facility in Lakeville, Minnesota to be near their children and grandchildren.

    In addition to his parents, Leon was preceded in death by his sister, Peggy Lutz and brother, Robert Smith.

    Leon is survived by his wife, Marjorie; his two children, Diane (Steve)Hedberg and Steve (Polly Anderson) Smith; four grandchildren; and sister, Mary Jean Kreuger.

    Leon began coming to Grand Rapids, Pokegama Lake, in 1945, the same year he left the Naval Services, through friends Don and Elizabeth Scriven, whose son, Leon's good friend, was killed in the war. Elizabeth worked at Ralph's Furniture (Ralph Isberg) for many years. Don retired from the lumber business. Leon bought a lot on Pokegama Lake (Moose Point Road) in 1955. He, wife, and their two children spent summer vacations there until Leon retired in 1977. They became permanent residents on Pokegama Lake in 1980-1981. He loved Pokegama Lake and northern Minnesota!

    After retirement, Leon continued to attend the PT Boaters Annual Conventions.

    Leon is buried in Calvary Cemetery, Fairmont, Minnesota.

  • Tribal Affiliation(s):