Harold Glenn Smith, 85, of Oak Ridge, died Tuesday, Oct. 9, at the Methodist Medical Center.
He was born July 3, 1927, in Lafayette, La., the son of William N. Smith and Beulah Fuller Smith of Lafayette.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Marion (Sal) Smith; daughter Lorie Janet James and her husband Lyle James of Salt Lake City, Utah; son, Brian Alan Smith and his wife Sandra Salgado of Austin, Texas; and two grandchildren, Daniel Enrique and Clara Patricia, also of Austin.
A daughter, Lynette Elaine Smith preceded him in death in 1977.
After graduation from Lafayette High School in 1944, he joined the Navy in 1944 and became an air crewman Petty Officer 2nd class in World War II.
Under the G. I. Bill, he graduated with honors in physics from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette in 1949. He married his wife, Marion (Sal) Batty in 1950 in New Orleans and graduated from Tulane University (M.S. Physics) in 1951. He worked as an x-ray crystallographer in the Ames Laboratory at Iowa State University at Ames, Iowa, from 1951 to 1954 and returned to graduate studies for a Ph.D. in physics from 1954 to 1957.
He joined the Chemistry Division at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in May 1957 in Henri Levy’s neutron diffraction group studying the structure of crystals at the Graphite and Oak Ridge Research reactors. He developed the x-ray and neutron sensitive Polaroid camera, which has seen worldwide use. He was a guest scientist at AERE, Harwell, England, from 1961 to 1962.
In 1963, he joined Mike Wilkinson in the Solid State Division to set up a new program to study the dynamics of crystals at the High Flux Isotope Reactor. He and his colleagues studied the different types of forces in inorganic, metallic, superconductor, and magnetic crystals as a function of temperature and pressure.
From 1974 to 1975, he was a guest scientist at the Institute Laue-Langevin in Grenoble, France. From 1983 to 1991, he was a member, then chairman, of the Neutron Scattering Commission of the International Union of Crystallography.
He retired from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in September 1993. During his scientific career, he was author or co-author of numerous scientific papers, book chapters, and review articles.
Hal owed his scientific career to two high school teachers, and to his wife, Sal, for her love, patience, and encouragement.
After retirement he formed a small consulting company, Neutronics of Oak Ridge, where he purchased and assembled parts for neutron-sensitive CCD cameras for various reactor groups in this country and Canada.
Hal was active in numerous local activities. He served on the board of the Smoky Mountains Hiking Club, the Oak Ridge Civic Ballet Association, Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning, a court-watcher for RID (Remove Intoxicated Drivers), and a tour guide for the American Museum of Science and Energy.
He loved hiking and camping in the Smoky and Cumberland Mountains, and he led numerous hikes over a period of many years for the Smoky Mountains Hiking Club. Hal greatly enjoyed spending time at Blueberry Hill, a log cabin that he and Sal had built on a ridge overlooking the heart off the Smoky Mountains.
His love of the wilderness led him to join the Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning (TCWP) at its inception in 1966. One of their first tasks was to fight against the Devils Jump Dam, which would have inundated the gorges of the Big South Fork of the Cumberland River. Together with Lee Russell, they mapped out the boundaries of a park that the TCWP was proposing along the Big South Fork. Today, the boundaries of the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area match very closely to what they had mapped out more than 40 years ago.
He was an amateur photographer and combined his scientific analytical skills with his artistic skills to take and print beautiful photographs. He was active in local camera clubs, the former Tree House Gallery of Oak Ridge, the Art Market Gallery of Knoxville, and the Mountain Sage Gallery of Townsend.
A memorial service was held on Monday, Oct. 15, at the Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church at 2 p.m. with Rev. Jake Morrill officiating. The family asks that memorials be made to the Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist or to the Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning.
Weatherford Mortuary is in charge of the arrangements. An online guest book can be signed at www.weatherfordmortuary.com.
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