Orville Lee Smith, age 88, passed away on 3 May 2023. He was a long-time resident of Oak Ridge but was born and raised in Pittsburg, Kansas. Lee was active in music, drama, debate, and science activities in the Pittsburg school system and in the First Christian Church where he was a member. Following Lee’s junior year of high school, he entered the University of Chicago and completed his Ph.D. in physics at the University of Missouri in 1962. Following college, he was employed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and served as senior research and development scientist in nuclear power plant design, mathematical biology, war game development under subcontract to the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington, D.C., and fossil-fuel power plant air quality improvement under subcontract to the Tennessee Valley Authority. Lee was also a part-time Associate Professor of Nuclear Physics at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Lee was married to the former Nancy Rose of Edina, Missouri, in 1963, and the couple celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2013. In retirement, he was an avid horseman, a volunteer at the American Museum of Science and Industry and other civic organizations, and a student at local colleges in curricula of personal interest. Lee also enjoyed writing computer games for his grandchildren.
Survivors include wife of 60 years, Nancy Smith; daughter, Christy Groves & husband, Ron, of Murfreesboro, TN; and three grandchildren, Jesse, Wyatt, and Emily.
In lieu of flowers, Lee requested donations be made to Kingswood Home for Children at 160 Wachtel Road, Bean Station, TN 37708. The family will receive friends 4-6 pm Friday, May 5, 2023, at Weatherford Mortuary. Interment will be held at Mt. Olive Cemetery in Pittsburg, Kansas. Online condolences may be left at weatherfordmortuary.com.