CHARLESTON, W.Va. -Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin issued the following statement today after learning former West Virginia Governor Hulett C. Smith died at the age of 93 in Scottsdale Ariz. on January 15.
"West Virginia is in mourning for one of our native sons who became a champion for better state government during some of the most turbulent times in America's history," Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said. "Gov. Smith enabled our state to take monumental steps forward during his time in office. Today, we remember the progress made under his leadership, and the man who led the way. Joanne and I send our heartfelt sympathies to his family."
Former Gov. Smith, a native of Beckley, W.Va., was governor from 1965 until 1969.
He was predeceased by his wives, former First Lady Mary Alice Tieche, who died in 1987, and Nancy Pat Lewis, who passed away in 2009, and his sons Hulett, Jr. and Mark. He is survived by his children Carolyn H. Sheets and husband George of Columbus, Ohio; Alice Christine Merritt of Atlanta, Ga.; Suzaine Smith of Boulder, Colo.; and Paul Smith and wife Patti of Beckley. In addition, he is survived by 12 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements are incomplete and are being handled by Milton Mortuary in Beckley.
- Press Release from The Office of Governor Earl Ray Tomblin