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Veteran's work ethic ideal for state trooper job

| Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Ed Smetana combined his love of travel and camping in a long family vacation in the early 1970s.

“He pulled a travel trailer to California and back with an Oldsmobile 88. ... Can you imagine?” said his son, Edward Smetana Jr. of Butler.

Edward F. Smetana of Hampton, a retired state trooper, died Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013. He was 87.

A World War II Navy veteran who did some boxing during his service, Mr. Smetana lost a couple of teeth to the sport, his son said. He served in the Pacific Theater as a torpedoman's mate 3rd class, taking part in the Philippine Liberation and receiving the Victory Medal.

Mr. Smetana then worked for 31 years as a state trooper in Punxsutawney, Gibsonia and Washington. When he retired, he owned and operated a driver's training school.

Larry Stayduhar of McCandless worked with Mr. Smetana at the Gibsonia barracks.

“I love the guy,” he said. “He was a great guy.”

They worked well together, said Stayduhar, who was a trooper for 27 years.

“I was a worker and he was a worker,” he said. “But I used to mess with him and he'd tell me, ‘I'm going to kick your butt.' ”

In addition to his son, Edward, Mr. Smetana is survived by his wife of 64 years, Bertha Spiegel Smetana; sons, Leonard C. Smetana of Lunenburg, Mass.; Charles C. Smetana of Valencia; and Richard J. Smetana of Hampton; and 11 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by a daughter, Barbara A. Clarke; three brothers; six sisters; and a grandson, David.

Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday in Schellhaas Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 5864 Heckert Road, Bakerstown.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday in St. Catherine of Sweden Church with the Rev. Steven V. Neff as celebrant. Interment will follow in Allegheny County Memorial Park in McCandless.

Craig Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5646 or csmith@tribweb.com.

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