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

    The Capitol building in Harrisburg (Capital-Star photo by Sarah Anne Hughes)

    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.

    An award-winning political journalist with more than 25 years' experience in the news business, John L. Micek is The Pennsylvania Capital-Star's Editor-in-Chief. Before joining The Capital-Star, Micek spent six years as Opinion Editor at PennLive/The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa., where he helped shape and lead a multiple-award-winning Opinion section for one of Pennsylvania's most-visited news websites. Prior to that, he spent 13 years covering Pennsylvania government and politics for The Morning Call of Allentown, Pa. His career has also included stints covering Congress, Chicago City Hall and more municipal meetings than he could ever count, Micek contributes regular analysis and commentary to a host of broadcast outlets, including CTV-News in Canada and talkRadio in London, U.K., as well as "Face the State" on CBS-21 in Harrisburg, Pa.; "Pennsylvania Newsmakers" on WGAL-8 in Lancaster, Pa., and the Pennsylvania Cable Network. His weekly column on American politics is syndicated nationwide to more than 800 newspapers by Cagle Syndicate.

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