Samuel Louis Smith

  • Born: December 27, 1935
  • Died: July 28, 2020
  • Location: San Antonio, Texas

Porter Loring Mortuary North

2102 North Loop 1604 East
San Antonio, TX 78232
Tel. (210) 495-8221

Tribute & Message From The Family

Our Lord called to Himself Samuel Louis Smith on July 28, 2020 in San Antonio, Texas. Sam, as family and friends called him, was born on December 27, 1935, at St. Joseph's Infirmary in Houston, Texas. His father, Issie Smith, was born in Wilma, Russia, and his mother, Sarah Wiesberg, in the great power often referred to as the Austro-Hungarian Empire. They both immigrated into the United States at the beginning of the 20th century. Sam was preceded in death by his parents and his brother and three sisters.

After finishing high school, Sam attended Texas A&M where he obtained a degree in Aeronautical Engineering. He joined the Navy in March of 1959 and became certified as a Naval Aviator in 1960. He also received from the Arizona State University College of Engineering and Applied Sciences a Certificate of Achievement for completing the Crash Survival Investigators School and from the University of Southern California Institute of Safety and Systems Management the Certification as Aircraft Mishap Investigator. From NASA, he received the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center Award for his contribution to the successful integration and flight certification of the MONOHUD in the Shuttle Training Aircraft.

During his time in the Navy, from 1959 to 1970, Samuel Smith received multiple awards for his service as a fighter pilot during the Vietnam War. His plane was shot down and he survived a couple of weeks in enemy territory until he was rescued. Samuel worked for NASA before moving to San Antonio where he worked at Kelly Air Force Base for a period of twenty years in civil service.

Samuel was a proud member of the Jewish faith. He received his Bar Mitzvah Certificate at Beth Jacob Congregation on October 7 of 1949 in Houston. For years, he attended the former Jewish Synagogue Agudas Achim on Donaldson and St. Cloud St. in San Antonio.

He married Norma Schneegans Smith in February of 1985. Sam was a good husband and great father and grandfather. He was a man of integrity, of honor, of patriotism and love for his country. Sam was a generous and intelligent man who not only served his country with pride but became an example and role model of what a true American man and son of God should be. Sam will be greatly missed by all who knew him. He always welcomed, helped and advised, the many members of his wife's family, never denying anyone of his generous hospitality.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 35 years, Norma Schneegans Smith, his daughter Grace Maria Espinar, his two grandchildren Samantha Nicole Maness (and husband Garrett) and Luis Miguel Espinar and his two great granddaughters Raegan Erin and Reese Emberly. A celebration of his life gathering will take place on August 11th at 9:30 AM at Porter Loring Mortuary North. His family and close friends will attend his interment with full military honors at the Fort Sam Houston Cemetery.


Family Album