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Howard Patterson Smith

September 21, 1935 - September 18, 2019

Howard Patterson SmithThe world lost a great man on Wednesday, Howard Patterson Smith. Howard was born in Plattsburg, New York on September 21st 1935, to Festus and Helen Smith.  Howard was known for his kindness, his grace under pressure, his sense of humor, and perhaps mostly for his talent as an architect. A gifted pianist even though he called it a hobby, and was a fearless supporter of the  arts and his family.  Howard graduated from Willsboro High School in New York, and after serving in the Army, he graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (where he was president of the Theta Chi Fraternity) with a degree in Architecture. 
In 1961 Howard married Suzanne Staley and moved to Salem where he began his career as an architect. His involvement in the design of the Salem Civic Center complex, the Salem Memorial Hospital, and bringing the Reed Opera House back to life in the early 1980s are examples of some of his work. 
Howard was preceded in death by his parents Festus and Helen Smith, his sister Myrtice Holmes, his sister Lucile Ammenheuser, and his granddaughter Autumn Smith.
Howard is survived by his wife Suzanne Staley Smith, his three children Stacy (Ron) Boost, Greg (Debbie) Smith and Mike (Julia) Smith, nine loving grandchildren, and one great grandchild.
Howard’s funeral will be this Saturday. the 21st (his 84th birthday) at Virgil T. Golden’s Funeral Service at 605 Commercial St SE at 3 PM. All of those whose lives were touched by Howard are invited.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Salem Art Association.

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We first met Howard and Sue at Starbucks in West Salem several years ago. We soon began meeting every Sunday morning for coffee and conversation with a small group of regular coffee drinkers.  Howard’s humor was often a welcome part of the banter. He shall be missed but long remembered by all enjoyed those many Sunday mornings. 

Rest in peace my dear brother in law and friend,I shall miss your kindness you love of every day life, your humor good bye my amazing friend

Dear Mike, Julie and family,

We send our deepest condolences to you and your family. Your dad is a treasure and his gifts of service to his community and to the arts are a great legacy. 

I see so so much of his creativity and sense of community in your soul and how you now carry that service to the world forward. 

I remember visiting your home in Salem years ago and getting the chance to meet your dad. When I told him how amazing the house was he pretty quickly deflected the compliment and instead told me how you had helped build so much of it. That ‘most of the nails in the place were Mikes’ as he looked around. He was very proud of that. It’s like he always had you nearby that way. 

Peace be with you and your family as you honor his life and legacy. 

Your friend,




I'll always remember Howard as a friendly, funny and intelligent man. The family home he designed will stand out as one of the most unique and peaceful places I had ever spent time in when I was younger. My thoughts are with him and his entire family today, and always. Rest in peace, Howard.  

I am so sorry to read of Howard's passing in the Plattsburgh paper.  Although I also live in Oregon, I grew up down the street from him on Mountain View Drive in Willsboro.  My memories of him are fleeting, but seeing we both live in Oregon I wanted to write and express my condolences.   I would visit his parent's home often as a kid (I loved the gold fish pond they all built) and especially his Mother and Father-In-Law, Bert and Mary who lived 3 houses over.    Blessings to you all, Bob Adams, North Bend, OR