Philip Halliday Smith, 92, died Sunday, Nov. 4, 2007, at St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center in Ketchum.
Phil was born in Gooding, Idaho, to H.W. Carlyle Smith and Eunice Calderhead Smith on April 8, 1915. The family moved to Parma, Idaho, when Phil was a toddler and lived on a sheep ranch owned by his father. Phil, with his mother and his older siblings, Marjorie and Will, followed the sheep in the spring from Parma to Idaho City, first in a wagon and later in the first Buick motorcar in Parma. They spent the summers in a bungalow overlooking the old prison and playing in the cabins left when the Chinese miners moved out.
The family moved to Caldwell where Phil finished grade school and high school and then went on to attend the College of Idaho from 1934 to 1937.
Some of Phil's best memories were of working summers at the Triumph Mine for his brother-in-law, Art Jensen, who had married Phil's sister in 1936. The characters and places that made up the landscape of the Wood River Valley in the years when mining and ranching were starting to come out of the Recession and Sun Valley was being built were forever etched in Phil's mind as the best of times.
Phil enlisted in the National Guard's 116th Armed Cavalry in 1940 and entered active service on April 1, 1941. He shipped to England in August of 1944 just in time to miss D-Day but in plenty of time to move into France with 12th Corps and meet up with General Patton for the Battle of the Bulge. Phil fought across France, Germany and into Austria. He was awarded a Bronze Star for his valor and service.
Phil spent the rest of his life living and working in two of the most beautiful places in the country—Carmel and Pebble Beach in California and the Wood River Valley in Idaho. He went to work with a friend after the war in the refrigeration business and later for a commercial flower grower in the Carmel Valley. He finally went to work for Pebble Beach Co. as an assayer in their glass sand division and worked for the company until his retirement.
Phil was married to Margaret Hensel in 1955 and helped to raise her two children, Peter and Judy. After they were divorced in 1971, Phil moved to a garret apartment over a garage at the home of Henry and Mona Williams. He became friends, caretaker, and almost family to the Williamses and their children.
Phil had a fine tenor voice and sang for years in the choir of the Presbyterian Church in Carmel and in the choir and congregation of Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Hailey.
When Henry and Mona passed away, Phil moved to Hailey in 1981 to live with his sister, Marjorie Jensen. "Uncle" Phil became a well-known and much loved figure in Hailey, making his daily rounds of the post office, grocery store, hardware store, nursery and other local establishments. Often store clerks would come out from behind their counters to give him a hug. He was a nice man.
Phil is survived by his nephew, Art Jensen, and his wife, Sue, of Eagle, Idaho, and their family, Mike Shuman of Hawaii, Kevin Jensen of Bothel, Wash., and Lisa Jensen, of San Francisco, Calif. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Will Smith, and his sister Marjorie Jensen.
Phil's family wishes to express sincere appreciation for the wonderful care Phil received at Blaine Manor and St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center.
Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 10, 2007, at the Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Hailey.
Cremation was under the care of the Wood River Chapel, Hailey, Idaho.