Thomas F. Smith, SFC-US Army, 71 of Tampa, Florida funeral service is 2:30 PM, Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at Florida National Cemetery, 6502 SW 102nd Avenue, Bushnell, Florida 33513 with Deacon Bryon Otradovec and Captain Art Nave (US Army) Chaplin and the Marion County Military Honor Guard providing full military honors. Please assemble at the cemetery between 2:00 PM and service time. At the conclusion of the service, burial will take place in the cemetery.
Thomas Smith contributed to changing the world in many ways ranging from helping to shape the solar home industry to how personal security is handled today.
His career started in the U.S. Army where he served on Special Forces “A” Teams and was an early member of the Studies and Operations Group.
After the military he moved to Japan to study martial arts where he studied under the Osensei of Aikido. Despite moving to the country with little Japanese language skills, he graduated from the prestigious Sophia University in Tokyo and eventually published books in Japanese. Following graduation he entered a think tank in Tokyo and travelled extensively doing research on emerging trends. The result of this research culminated in his designing and building the first ever prototype of a passive solar home in Lake Tahoe.
Over the next decade, 1000’s of his solar designs were built around the country. The homes and technology he developed were featured in many publications including but not limited to Popular Mechanics, Better Homes and Gardens, MacWorld (for being one of the very first adopters of Mac-based CAD programs for home design).
Never one to sit still, he would occasionally harness his earlier special operations trainings and would routinely engage in special security cases around the world. This eventually changed his focus away from the solar home industry and into the venturous world of international security. He became business partners with the legendary Richard Meadows and worked throughout Latin America. Over the next couple of decades he would help organizations navigate through security issues (ranging from corporate security to kidnap negotiations) in some of the world’s most dangerous countries. He headed up security for Fortune 500 companies and large NGO’s throughout Latin America, Middle East, Haiti, and South Asia. His innovative approaches to security while sticking to the motto of “keeping things simple” have led to pivotal works in the field (videos, manuals, etc.) and his upcoming book on the subject.
He was a member of the American Society for Industrial Security and a life member of both the Special Operations Association and Special Forces Association.
SFC Smith served in the US Army during the Vietnam War Era. He was awarded the US Army Commendation Medal; the Good Conduct Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters; the National Defense Service Medal and a Purple Heart. He also was awarded a Master Parachute Badge; a Combat Infantry Badge; a M-1 Expert Badge and a M-14 Expert Badge.
He is survived by his loving family: his wife, Maria Del Carmen Smith of Tampa, Florida; children: sons, Taro Smith of Boulder, Colorado and Tony Ramos of Lima, Peru; daughter, Jenny Ramos and her husband, Fabian of Buenos Aires, Argentina; a brother, George Patrick Smith and his wife, Rosa of New York, NY and a grandson, Salvador Mariano of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The family requests, that in lieu of flowers, to please make a donation to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation in the Memory of SFC Thomas F. Smith.
Veterans Funeral Care