Clinton G. ?Denny? Smith, 90, of Venango, PA passed away surrounded by his wife and children on February 25, 2016 at the Marquette Hospice House following a short illness. Denny was born in Fredonia, Kansas, to Fred B. and Ruth (Hoover) Smith.? He was part of a family born into horse racing. In the 1920?s the family relocated to Southern California and through the 1930?s the family raced thoroughbred horses at tracks from Mexico to Chicago. Denny was also proud of his Submarine Service in the Pacific Theatre during World War II.? After the war he returned to racing mostly in the west. In 1952, he married Margaret Kirby and began a career as a racing official. He rose to the position of racing secretary and later steward at various racetracks. He was appointed Director of Racing at the American Quarter Horse Association which later led to a position as general manager at Delta Downs in Vinton, Louisiana. He later became general manager at Commodore Downs in Fairview, PA and ended his career as State Steward at Penn National Race Course in Grantville, PA.
He is preceded in death by his brothers – Donald, Clifford, Max and a sister, Helen. Surviving Clinton in addition to his loving wife of over 63 years, Margaret, of Venango, PA are his two children – Clinton, Jr. and his wife, Stephanie of Mechanicsburg, PA; and Leslie and her husband, Gene Soltesz of Venango, PA;? his grandchildren – Steven and Allison Soltesz of Melbourne, FL; Marcie and Tim Campbell of Union City, PA; Clayton and Kami Soltesz of Philadelphia, PA; Clinton III and Jackie of Mechanicsburg, PA; Lyndsey and Blake Diehl of Dillsburg, PA; and his beloved great grandchildren – Landon, Cora and Chase.
He is survived by his sister Dorothy Fields of Elbert, Colorado.
A veteran of World War Two, Clinton was a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and a member of the World War II Submarine Veterans Organization.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 27, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. at the Venango United Methodist Church, Venango, PA to celebrate his life. In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial contributions be made to Hospice of Crawford County for the benefit of Marquette Hospice House. The Van Matre Family Funeral Home in Cambridge Springs has assisted the family.