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Lt. Colonel Gordon E. Smith, 92, Campbellsville, KY (1928-2020)

Lt. Colonel Gordon E. Smith of Campbellsville passed away on September 20, 2020. He was 92 years old.

Funeral Services will be held at 2pmET on Sunday, October 11, 2020, at Parrott & Ramsey Funeral Home, with burial to follow in Brookside Cemetery, Campbellsville, KY.

A walk-through visitation will be held at Parrott & Ramsey Funeral Home from 11amET until 2pmET on Sunday, October 11, 2020. Masks will be required and social distancing guidelines will be followed.

Gordon Smith was born March 26, 1928 in Mimico, a suburb of Toronto, Canada. He was the son of Gordon Baker Smith and Marie Rosalean Kelly. He died at Taylor Regional Hospital of covid pneumonia, September 20, 2020, age 92. He had an identical twin brother, Bruce, and an older sister, Joyce. He was christened at St. Cyprian Anglican Church, Toronto, and confirmed at Christ Anglican Church, Mimico, and was a member of All Saints Anglican, Toronto.

A graduate of Mimico High School, he received a Bachelor of Arts in English and Philosophy in 1951 and a Master of Arts in Philosophy from Toronto University in 1952. He earned a second Master of Arts in Russian Language and Literature from Middlebury College in Vermont in 1968.

Gordon entered the Canadian Army in 1951 and was stationed at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland and Montreal, Quebec. As a member of the United Nations Emergency Forces, he served in the Middle East in Lebanon, Egypt, and the Gaza Strip. He departed regular service in 1960 with the rank of Captain.

He served in the Canadian Army Reserves, 1971 to1978, and rose to the rank of Lt. Colonel, being a member of the Officer Group, Canadian National Defense Head Quarters. He enrolled in the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education and received an ABD in Russian Language and Literature. He studied twice at Moscow State University.

Gordon and his twin brother were gifted in learning languages. He was fluent in French, Russian, Portuguese, and comfortable in Italian and other romance and Slavic languages.

From 1961 to 1986, he was a teacher of English and Russian in the public schools of Toronto. He began his teaching career as head of English Department at Alderwood Collegiate Institute where he taught grade 13; he was a language specialist and became vice-principal of Etobicoke Collegiate in Missassauga, Ontario. After teaching for 25 years, he retired and started teaching English and writing at Sheridan College from 1986-1988 and translated novels from Russian into English. He was member of the Canadian Professional Translators Association.

While still in Ontario, he was a member of the Royal Canadian Military Institute and served on the Board of Markland Woods Country Club in Etobicoke where he golfed practically every day that weather permitted.

While on a trip to East Central Europe, he met Betty Jane Gorin. He came to the United States and taught Russian Translation at Indiana University. On October 3, 1991, they married, it being the first wedding in the Hiestand House Museum.

Gordon became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1997 thereby retaining dual citizenship, Canadian and U.S.

A gifted teacher, he taught ESL and Russian for Campbellsville University. He translated for the Kentucky Baptists in their mission partnership with Russia, teaching English to Nickolai Syrovatko, a Baptist missionary. He served as secretary on the Sister Cities Committee and went to Ireland with the Taylor County delegation. He served on the board of the Taylor County Historical Society. He was an active Rotarian and their program chairperson for ten years. He was named a Harris Fellow by the Rotary Club. He was a faithful member of the Men's Sunday School Class at Campbellsville Baptist Church and a loyal member of the Campbellsville Country Club. His perfect day was teaching at the university in the morning and playing golf in the afternoon. He retired teaching from CU in 2010, age 82.

Gordon translated from Russian into English, Beskrovny's The History of Russian Army and Fleet in the 19th Century for Academic International Press in 1996, receiving outstanding reviews. He edited Antonio Mendez's book, The Master of Disguise in 1999. He edited Dr. J. Chester Badgett's History of Campbellsville University in 2004, and his wife's book, Morgan Is Coming! Confederate Raiders in the Heartland of Kentucky in 2005.

A Life Scout in Canada (Eagle in US), he supported Boy Scouts in this country. A member of the Louisville Civil War Round Table, he supported the Speed Museum, KET, Public Radio, CARE, and Doctors Without Borders. He never met a stranger.

His sister, Jean Meyer (Wilf), and his twin brother, Bruce Kelly Smith (Karen), preceded him in death.

He is survived by his wife, Betty Jane Gorin Smith, Campbellsville; children of his twin brother and sister: Eileen Smith Pel (Robert) of Stratford, Ontario, Lisa Smith, of Montreal, Quebec; nephew, Bernhard Bruce Smith (Colleen), of Barrie, Ontario; Marilyn Smith, Vancouver; Bruce Smith, Ottawa, ON, great nieces and nephew, Morgan Pel Fullerton (Michael) and their children, Winston and Imogen, Thea Pel, Bronwyn Pel (Bryan Rohaly), Lauren Smith, Zachary Smith. His step-children are Mark Gorin, (Debbie) Prospect, KY, Beth Gorin Cox (Todd), Hendersonville, TN; Dr. Wendell Jones, (Patricia) of Cary, NC. Step grandchildren, Katherine Gorin and finance Patrick Trujillo, Orange, CA and Diana Gorin, New York City; Chelsea Cox Glick (Nathaniel), Corona, CA and Emily Cox Hodges (Wade), Gallatin, TN; Dr. Nathan Jones (Dr. Brook Britton) of Baltimore, MD, Tyler Jones and fiancee Leah Mincey of Cary, NC.

Memorials to Tebbs Bend Battlefield, Box 394, Campbellsville, Hiestand House-Taylor Co Museum, 1075 Campbellsville Bypass, Campbellsville, KY 42718, or Doctors Without Borders, Box 5030, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5030. Donations may also be made through Parrott & Ramsey Funeral Home. Parrott & Ramsey Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences at

This story was posted on 2020-10-02 13:14:49
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Grissom-Martin Funeral Home
Located one block off the Square at 200 Campbellsville Street in Columbia, KY.
To reach David and Cathy Martin, phone (270)-384-2149, or e-mail:
Large enough to serve comfortably; Small enough to serve personally.

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Stotts-Phelps-McQueary Funeral Home
Established 1922 | 210 Greensburg St., Columbia, KY 42728 | Jeff Jessie, Owner
270-384-2145,, email

Lt. Colonel Gordon E. Smith, 92, Campbellsville, KY (1928-2020)

2020-10-02 - Campbellsville, KY - Photo courtesy Parrott & Ramsey Funeral Home.
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