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Klein-Smith, Jr., Harry P.

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June 4, 1921 - January 13, 2015

Klein-Smith, Jr., Harry P.

In loving memory of our father Harry Klein-Smith Jr. 4

Jun 1921-13 Jan 2015

Harry P. Klein-Smith Jr of Dallas, Texas, (our beloved “Honey”) finally hung up his tennis racket and went to be with his Lord, Jesus on Wednesday, January 13, 2014, while surrounded by caring hearts.  Harry was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, on Jun 4, 1921, to Harry P. Klein-Smith and Ruth L. Commerce Klein-Smith. Harry was also predeceased by his loving wife of 60.5 years, Ann E. Henderson Klein-Smith. After graduating from Niagara University, Harry enlisted in the US Army’s infantry and was later commissioned as a second lieutenant. Harry’s tennis career was almost terminated during World War II. In February 1945, 25 year-old Second Lieutenant Klein-Smith was leading his platoon on a push toward Hottorf, Germany when, a mortar shell hit him in the shoulder while he was in a crouched position. Our father told us that the force of the mortar sent him up in the air 30 feet like a geyser. He desperately looked for his right arm only to find it dangling behind his back. He stood up and walked two miles back to his division’s headquarters. He then spent the next two years moving from one military hospital to another for treatment. His entire upper torso with the exception of his left arm was encased in a body cast.  While in the hospital he played darts with his friends. He told us that when he went to pull the darts out of the boards, his friends used his body cast for target practice. It was a good thing they never hit his good arm. Harry was concerned that he wouldn’t be able to play tennis again after he recovered from his injuries but, he was certainly wrong. The good Lord was watching over him and provided him with the ability to play his beloved tennis again. After he was released back to duty, Harry was  transferred to Alaska. In his free time Harry served as a highly competitive member of the Alaskan Rifle Team and earned several marksmanship trophies. Later, he moved to Fort Bliss, Texas and met his future wife Ann at a picnic. He was asked to be a stand-in date for a friend of his who had to cancel his date with Ann. Needless to say Harry was immediately smitten at age 29 and married 17 year old Ann three weeks later. Harry also served in the Korean War as a Safety Officer then finished out his military career as a Reservist in 1962. During his career he was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart for his dedicated service to our country.

In the second work chapter in his life, Harry started a career as a workers compensation specialist for Aetna in Westchester, NY. Harry enjoyed the travel and the opportunity to work from home frequently as he moved up in his career as a hearings representative. After work, Harry taught himself to play tennis again and was considered quite good. His daughter had been known to lose a few dimes by betting her father that he couldn’t hit the dime she place on the clay court when he served, needless to say, her father never missed. Harry was a caring father who spent time with his children, playing games, going to the beach or fishing or teaching them about life.  He also earned a few premature grey hairs giving driving lessons.

One day, Harry was sitting near the Riverdale, NY community swimming pool and he was invited to play doubles tennis. Harry turned out to be a pretty good player and quickly became a top amateur player. At age 67 he was ranked as high a ninth in the Eastern Tennis Association’s 65-year old division.

In 1989, Harry and Ann moved to Dallas, Texas because his wife missed Texas and they wanted to settle into a house with some space for their dogs. Harry has always been a dog-lover and starting showing his dogs who, frequently won titles of best of breed. He also became a dog show judge and earned a great reputation for his breed expertise and fairness. Harry continued to play tennis in Texas and has been called “a legend” in the Texas tennis community. He enjoyed this hobby into his late 80s and made a name for himself in the Texas tennis community, and eventually the national Senior Tennis community. In 2003, when he was ranked #4 in Men’s 80 Singles Standings and Number #1 in Doubles by the United States Tennis Association. He continued to play until he was 88 when a stroke reduced his capabilities to play but, he continued to serve as a team captain with the Texas Tennis Association.

Harry is survived by his daughter, Ruth Ann Brock, Lt Col, USAFR, Retired, (and husband Michael Philip Brock) of DeRidder, LA, his son, Harry P. Klein-Smith, III, of Dallas, TX and son, D. Angus Klein-Smith of Dallas TX, as well as his grandchildren, Erin Jean Strange (and husband Justin Strange), Aerial Joy Klein-Smith, Kristin A.Brock (and husband W. Roy Riggs), John Wendall Riggs, Michael Philip. Brock, Jr. (wife Cynthia Brock) and great-grand child Faith Lyn Strange.

May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind be ever at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
And the rain fall softly on your fields
And until we meet again, May God hold 
you in the hollow of his hand

The family will receive visitors from 6:00-8:00 P.M., Sunday, January 18, 2015 at ARIA Memorial Chapel.  He will be laid to rest on Monday, January 19, 2015 after a service with full military honors at 11:30 A.M., at Dallas Ft Worth National Cemetery.

Arrangements are under the direction of
ARIA Cremation Service and Funeral Home
19310 Preston Road
Dallas, Texas 75252

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Linda Rappa

November 22, 2019 9:55PM

Remembering your dad HP kleinsmith Junior with much fondness as he was my very first boss on my first job working in White Plains for Aetna. I love hearing about all his accomplishments something he never mentioned I often wondered what happened to him and now I'm glad I know sorry for your loss rest in peace mr. Kleinsmith

Emily Perrott

January 19, 2015 12:01PM

I wish I could be there with you. I was always so fond of Harry. May God Bless each of you. With Love, Emily

Mike Brewster

January 18, 2015 6:51PM

Ruth, I was sorry to read of your loss. It looks like your father was quite a man.

My most heartfelt condolences to you and your family.

D.M. Brewster SMSgt (ret)