Richard C. Smith, longtime Procter & Gamble official, dies

Richard C. Smith, a retired Procter & Gamble executive, died Feb. 9 at the Blakehurst Retirement Community in Towson of complications from Parkinson's disease. He was 85.

The son of Francis H. Smith, a mechanical engineer, and Mildred Smith, a homemaker, Richard Carpenter Smith was born in Cleveland and raised in Cincinnati, where he graduated in 1948 from Wyoming High School.


He earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering in 1952 and a master's in business in 1953, both from Cornell University, where he managed the football team for three years and was a member of Beta Theta Pi.

He served in the Army as a lieutenant at Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey and later at Aberdeen Proving Ground. He was discharged in 1955.


During his career at Procter & Gamble, he held management positions at facilities in Cincinnati, Dallas, Kansas City, Iowa City and Italy.

In 1968, he moved to Lutherville and was named plant manager of P&G's Locust Point plant, now Under Armour's Tide Point campus. In 1973, he was promoted to senior manufacturing representative for P&G and later held various management positions.

He represented the company on the Grace Commission, convened in 1982 by President Ronald Reagan to examine inefficiency in the federal government.

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He retired in 1985.

From 1985 to 2004, Mr. Smith lived on Gibson Island and indulged his passion for sailing. He sailed the Chesapeake Bay and to the Bahamas. He owned the Calica, a vessel taking its name from the first two letters of his daughters' names. The pride of his fleet, though, was Odyssey — his Bristol 41.1. He was a former president of the Gibson Island Club.

He had lived at Blakehurst since 2009.

Mr. Smith was a world traveler and enjoyed learning about various people, cultures and cuisines, said a daughter, Carol Smith Pynchon of Canton, N.Y.

Mr. Smith was a communicant of the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, 5603 N. Charles St., where a memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday.


In addition to his daughter, Mr. Smith is survived by his wife of 62 years, the former Gayle Hodge; two other daughters, Catherine Smith Badmington of Towson and Linda Smith Brockway of Philadelphia; a brother, Robert C. Smith of Vero Beach, Fla.; a sister, Linda Smith Melville of Cincinnati; nine grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

— Frederick N. Rasmussen