Harold F. "Hal" Smith

harold smith

Hal Smith

Owner of Smith & Smith Advertising


Harold F. Smith, an art director, advertising agency owner, landscape painter, and World War II veteran, died February 3, in Denver, at the age of 91. Mr. Smith died peacefully at Porter Adventist Hospital, just a few miles from where he was born in a small house on Aug. 7, 1924.

He was married 66 years to his college sweetheart, Mary Ann Shipp of Boulder. They met in the class registration line at the University of Colorado in Boulder, shortly after World War II. He was known for his devotion to his wife, who was his "delight."

Mr. Smith, the son of a garage mechanic, grew up in small towns on the Western Slope, including Eagle, Palisade and Rifle. He graduated from Eagle High School. He joked that his school was so small that he was recruited to the track team and thrown into a 400-yard race at the last minute. "I finished fourth," he said, adding with a laugh that there were only four runners.

Mr. Smith served as an infantryman in World War II with Company B, Regiment 405 of the 102nd Infantry Division. His company landed in Cherbourg, France, in the fall of 1944, and engaged the Siegfried Line in Germany. After a medical transfer, Mr. Smith, known as "Smitty" by his Army buddies, finished his military service as a U.S. Air Force clerk in England.

After World War II, Mr. Smith received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Colorado and then studied for two years at the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. Mr. Smith landed jobs as an art director in New York City. During a three-year stint there, he worked for Grey Advertising and BBDO.

The Smiths then returned to Colorado to raise a family and be closer to their parents. Mr. Smith worked as an art director for Rippey, Henderson, Bucknam & Co., Denver's largest advertising agency at that time. He also worked in the creative departments of Rocky Mountain Orthodontists and Lorie, Lotito, Westcott Advertising and Public Relations.

In 1978, Mr. Smith founded Smith & Smith Advertising Inc. in Denver. In his business, Mr. Smith enjoyed doing it all, from strategy to art direction to copy writing, until his retirement in his late 70s. He served as one of the early presidents of the Art Directors Club of Denver. Mr. Smith also taught art to adults on Saturdays at the University of Colorado at Denver.

As a hobby, he painted large oil canvases, including one depicting his wife sitting in a tranquil mountain woods. In his later years, he sketched and painted small watercolors. He also enjoyed designing the family's Christmas cards, writing poetry, and reading.

Mr. Smith was a devout Christian and studied the Bible. He and Mrs. Smith were members of Trinity United Methodist Church in Denver for nearly 30 years.

They lived in southwest Denver until 2011, when they moved to the senior living community of Meridian Englewood.

Mr. Smith is preceded in death by his parents Foster and Annie; brother, Kenneth Smith; and sister, Ella Bindley. He is survived by his wife; brother, Charles Glen Smith of Lakeland, Fla.; three children: Mona Pfohl of Englewood, Colo.; Jeffrey Smith of Boulder, Colo.; and Michael Smith of Sydney, Australia; four granddaughters: Alicia, Kristin, Margaret, and Cailyn; and three great-grandchildren.

Services will be officiated by Trinity Senior Pastor Michael Dent at Bullock Mortuary, 1375 E. Hampden, Englewood, on Saturday, Feb. 13 at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions to Trinity United Methodist Church in Denver are welcome.



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