The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

Bennett Roy Smeltzer



Bennett Roy Smeltzer

Bennett Roy Smeltzer was born Jan 5, 1929, at Leeds, N. D. He was the first child of four born to Jesse Roy and Ruth Marie (Anderson) Smeltzer.

Roy attended the first grade, 1935, thru the fifth in Leeds before mid 1940, when his parents and several aunts and uncles moved to the west coast to find jobs. His parents settled in San Francisco, where he attended 6th and 7th grades at Sherman Elementary.

From there they moved to Amity, Oregon, where he graduated in 1947. While living in Amity he helped his father in the early morning picking up milk cans for Carnation.

During the summers he worked for Alderman Bros. picking vegetables.

Roy was drafted in the Army in June 1952, and obtained basic training at Camp Roberts, CA. He was sent to Germany on his first trip crossing the Atlantic Ocean. While in Germany he was a Unit Supply Specialist. He toured the country side as time allowed, and was discharged in June 1954.

In 1955, he went to work for the Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway in the Engineering Dept. as a draftsman in the Portland office. While surveying on The Dalles Dam relocation project of the railroad's tracks he met Jean Allyn Summers on a blind date.

They were married in Goldendale on Nov. 22, 1956, and moved to Portland in 1957. He graduated from Oregon Polytechnic Institute in 1960, by attending evening classes.

In May 1958, he adopted Jean's two children, Diana and Larry, and in 1961 Sherrill joined the family.

Roy became involved with the Boy Scouts in 1962, by serving as Cub Master; Boy Scouts in 1964-72; and Burlington Northern Post 827, a conservation group, as Explorer Leader 1972-75.

In 1975, he was transferred to the St. Paul, MN office; then in 1978 to the Seattle office where he worked until his retirement in 1984, with 29 years for the railroad. They were cutting forces which was mainly the former S. P. &. S. employees.

Then Roy volunteered for the Redmond food bank, and continued that work until they moved to Goldendale in 1995.

In 1985, they bought Jean's aunt, Edna Anrig's place. When they moved back to Goldendale they had the old house removed, and built a new one on its site.

They moved into town in 2008, to a one level house with an attached garage.

Roy had a life long enjoyment of fishing and was ready to go anytime. He was a familiar sight taking his daily walking trips in the neighborhood wherever he was living at that time.

Roy passed away on April 30, 2017 at the Memorial Hospital in Yakima. At his request no funeral service will be held. A private interment will be in the I.O.O.F. cemetery in Goldendale at a later time.

He was preceded in death by his siblings, Marilyn Rouske, Stanley Smeltzer and Floyd Smeltzer. Surviving is wife, Jean; children Larry Smeltzer, Marcus, WA. and Sherrill (Dean) Basse, Goldendale; grandchildren Keith Smeltzer, The Dalles, Elizabeth (Smeltzer) Puckett, Tacoma, Brandon Basse, Red Oak, TX and Lauren (Basse) Ebalo, Fullerton, CA; and 9 great-grandchildren.

Memorial donations may be made to the Klickitat County Historical Society/Presby Museum, P.O. Box 86, Goldendale, WA 98620 or the Centerville Grange.


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