The Lead

Ex-House Speaker Sam Smith’s father, former Rep. L. Eugene ‘Snuffy’ Smith, has died

By: - April 8, 2019 2:54 pm

The Capitol building in Harrisburg (Capital-Star photo)

Lawmakers in the state House Monday were mourning the passing of former Rep. L. Eugene “Snuffy” Smith, who died Sunday. Smith, the father of ex-House Speaker Sam Smith, R-Jefferson, served 11 terms in the House, from his election in 1963 until his retirement in 1986.

In a statement, House Speaker Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny, said Smith, who served as an Army Air Force pilot in the 306th Bombardment Group during World War II, “worked to make life better for his constituents and the citizens of our Commonwealth.”

Turzai paid tribute to Smith, who was a businessman and a former mayor of Punxsutawney, Pa.,  saying the former lawmaker “accomplished his mission as a son, a husband, a father, a business owner, and a legislator.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Snuffy Smith, whose legacy strongly lives throughout the Pennsylvania Capitol,” Turzai said. “Our hearts go out to his son, Sam, and family.”

Former Speaker Sam Smith was elected to the state House in 1986, succeeding his father. Smith announced his retirement from the House in 2014. Turzai, who was the then-Republican floor leader, succeeded Smith as speaker.

“We have lost one of our most ardent, passionate, and effective voices. His desire, dedication, and determination to serve will live with me forever. May Snuffy’s memory be a blessing,” Turzai said.

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John L. Micek
John L. Micek

A three-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's former Editor-in-Chief.