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Wayne L. Smith, 84, of Tiffin, died peacefully at 11:36 p.m. Monday, March 27, 2023, at his residence. He was born October 28, 1938, in Ft. Wayne, Indiana to Elgie and Clara (Young) Smith and grew up in Melbern, Ohio. Wayne met Shirley Ebaugh while both were farming adjacent fields. He married Shirley December 10, 1960, in Bryan, Ohio, and she survives.
Survivors include four children, Greg (Janeen) of Bloomville, Cindy (Tyler) Toncler of Twinsburg, Julie (Gregg) Heminger of Fairbanks, Alaska, Randy (Marie) of Anchorage, Alaska; nine grandchildren, Danielle (Zach Hamer) of Clintonville, Breann (Chase Morgan) of Columbus, Devan Toncler (Matt Chiancone) of Columbus, Sommer Toncler of Lakewood, Justin (Michelle) Heminger of Fairbanks, Alaska, Wesley (Luis) Ramirez of Schaumburg, Illinois, and from Anchorage, Alaska: Nathan, Elise (Gavin) Schwartz, and Jarod; six great grandchildren, Fiona and Fynnigan Heminger, Adrian and Luca Ramirez, Dante and Nicholas Schwartz; a brother Lyle (Ed) of Glendale, Arizona; a sister Lora Jeanne Eberhardt of Marietta, Georgia. Wayne also leaves behind his beloved dog, Cooper.
He is preceded in death by his parents.
Wayne was a 1956 Edgerton High School graduate. He started his career in the Ohio Highway Patrol as a dispatcher at the St. Mary’s post in March of 1960. He graduated from the 56th Patrol Academy class June 1961. After graduation, he returned to the St. Mary’s post as a Cadet Dispatcher while he waited for his assignment. Three months later, he was assigned to the Fremont Patrol Post as a Trooper. The Patrol established a resident trooper program in Seneca County in 1964 and the family moved to Tiffin. Trooper Smith was the face of the Highway Patrol in Seneca County and was well known by many. Wayne retired from the Patrol in 1989 after a 30-year career and he enjoyed a long, well-deserved retirement.
Wayne farmed as a young man and continued to farm for Spiv (Ralph) and Rod Gillmor near Old Fort for many years. Wayne was an avid hunter all year long. He always had beagles for rabbit hunting, squirrel hunting in the fall which was followed by deer hunting. He especially enjoyed deer hunting in Pennsylvania with the Hinish family near Everett, PA that spanned 50 years. But his favorite hobby was to hunt woodchucks and prairie dogs where he would hone his long-range, high powered rifle skills. Wayne was well known for his hunting adventures and skills. This included big game hunts in Pennsylvania, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Alaska, and Canada.
Wayne was also known for his Willy’s Jeeps of different styles and vintages. He didn’t want to drive a shiny new vehicle but preferred instead to drive his old Jeeps. Wayne was easily recognized while driving one of his green Jeeps and many people would offer a friendly wave.
Wayne and Shirley enjoyed traveling and have visited all 50 states including driving a motorhome to Alaska on a two-month journey.
Wayne was an exceptionally good storyteller. He could recite stories from the past that were very entertaining, including all the fine details. Wayne enjoyed reloading ammunition and was an avid Euchre and Pinochle player. Wayne was also quite the handyman, he could fix anything, and he fabricated many creative solutions.
Wayne was a life member of the NRA and was very active with the Tiffin-Seneca Izaak Walton League. He was instrumental in combining the Tiffin Gun Club with the local Izaak Walton League years ago which since has grown substantially in membership and funding. Wayne was the founder of the Miller Farm Handicap Hunt that Izaak Walton members administer. Wayne was past president of T-Squares and was active in Heart of Ohio Traveling Squares. Wayne also served on the Clinton Township Zoning Board of Appeals and was a 50-year member of St. Paul’s United Methodist church.
Visitation for family and friends will be 4-7 p.m. Friday, March 31, 2023, at Traunero Funeral Home and Crematory 214 S. Monroe Street, Tiffin Ohio 44883 (419)447-3113.
The Memorial service will be 11 a.m. Saturday, April 1, 2023, at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church with Rev. Charlene Thomas officiating.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Tiffin-Seneca Izaak Walton League.
To send Online condolences to the family, order out-of-town flowers, or to view the Celebration of Life video go to: www.traunerofuneralhome.com.
Tiffin-Seneca Izaak Walton League
3570 N County Rd 33,, Tiffin OH 44883