Rev. Dr. Richard H. Smeltzer, 69 of Lake Alfred, Florida died at “camp” on Damariscotta Lake, on Sunday night, August 7, 2016, surrounded by his loving wife and family. He was born March 7, 1947 in York, Pennsylvania, a son of the late Dallas D. and Nellie V. (Stein) Smeltzer.
On October 19, 1968 he married Janet Marie Henry in Red Lion, Pennsylvania.
Richard was a graduate of Red Lion High School, a member of the class of 1965. He received his B.A. from York College, his M.Div from Bangor Theological Seminary, and his PhD from New York Theological Seminary.
At a young age he began his musical career playing the organ. Over the years he served as church organist and hosted his own weekly radio show. For forty years, he and his friend Sam Keeney performed their annual Christmas organ concert, “The Sounds of Christmas” in Pennsylvania and throughout New England, and together the two recorded many albums.
Throughout their ministerial service, he and his wife served: The Emigsville United Methodist Church in Emigsville, PA; Longstown United Methodist Church in Longstown, PA; Belfast United Methodist Church in Belfast; Searsmont United Methodist Church in Searsmont; New Harbor United Methodist Church in New Harbor; Round Pond United Methodist Church in Round Pond; Grant Memorial United Methodist Church in Presque Isle; Saint Paul’s United Methodist Church in Manchester, New Hampshire; Auburn United Methodist Church in Auburn; And Salem United Church of Christ in Dover, PA. He retired from formal ministry in 2009.
Richard was a forty-seven year member of the Masonic Lodge; Past Worthy Patron of the Eastern Star; the York Organ Club; a life-member of the Leo Fire Company in Red Lion, PA; a former member of the Presque Isle Kiwanis Club, and past-president of the Lions Club of York, Pennsylvania.
He loved being by the water, whether it was the ocean or the lake. For decades, he would spend a week every summer volunteering at Camp Mechuwanna in Winthrop as a counselor during their annual music camp. He loved traveling with his wife, but especially enjoyed spending time with the entire family. He and Janet made sure that their home was always a place that their children and their friends wanted to be.
He was preceded in death by a brother, Ronald E. Smeltzer.
In addition to his wife of more than forty-eight years, Richard is survived by: a son, Paul T. Smeltzer and his wife Holly of Waldoboro; a daughter, Cassandra R. “Becky” Humphrey and her husband Shawn of Standish; four grandchildren, Aaron, Cassandra “Cassi”, Jacob and Jackson; a brother, G. Leroy Smeltzer and his wife Mary of Mount Wolf, PA; a sister-in-law, Donna M. Smeltzer of Red Lion, PA; four nephews, Gerald, Brian, Todd and David; and his niece Debra.
Friends are invited to join the family for a service to celebrate Richard’s life and ministry, at 1 o’clock PM, on Saturday afternoon, August 20, 2016, at the Waldoboro United Methodist Church, 95 Friendship Street, Waldoboro. Pastor Karen Lilli Pax will officiate.
Should friends so desire, donations may be made in Richard’s memory to Camp Mechuwanna, Post Office Box #277, Winthrop, Maine 04363-0277.
Arrangements are under the direction and care of the Strong-Hancock Funeral Home, 612 Main Street, Damariscotta, ME 04543. Condolences, and messages for the family, may be expressed by visiting: www.StrongHancock.com.