Dec. 5, 1925 — Dec. 16, 2012

Lewis R. Smith, a Bronze Star recipient and retired Buffalo Forge Co. employee, died Wednesday in his Clarence Center home. He was 87.

Born in Buffalo, Mr. Smith was a resident of Cheektowaga for more than 50 years. In 1943, when he was 17, Mr. Smith enlisted in the Army during World War II. He served with the 286th Combat Engineering Battalion and was awarded two Bronze Stars after helping to erect bridges over the Danube River and throughout France, Germany and Austria. Fluent in German, he also served as an interpreter for 11 months during the Allied occupation of Germany.

He worked at Buffalo Forge Co. for 25 years, until his retirement in 1985. Mr. Smith served as an usher in the Infant of Prague Catholic Church for 35 years and worked the bingo games at the church. He was a coach and officer for Maryvale Little League for 10 years, and also helped organize a Cub Scout pack.

He is survived by his wife of 62 years, the former Eleanor Habermehl; two daughters, Patricia Andzel and Nancy; and a son, Daniel.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. today in Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church, 10950 Main St., Clarence,