Smith, Larrabee, Age: 90, Holmdel

August 10, 2017
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Larrabee “Larry” Smith, 90, of Holmdel, died on Tuesday, August 1 after a six-month battle with Mesothelioma.

Larry was predeceased by his wife of 58 years, Patricia Smith in 2012; his parents, Laura and John Smith; and his brother, Roderick Smith. He leaves his sister, Virginia Trumbull; a daughter Jodie; a son, Geoff; his daughter-in-law, Janine; three grandchildren, Blake, Shannon and Spencer; and his companion, Anne; and many close friends.

Born and raised in Kent, Washington, the son of Jack and Laura, he enlisted in the Navy at the end of World War II and then attended the University of Washington, where he graduated with a degree in electrical engineering. Upon graduation Bell Labs hired him and he moved to New Jersey where he met his wife, Patricia, whom he was married to for 58 years.

While at Bell Labs he had the fortune to work on the first transistor and, as a member of the Chief Architects Division, he helped define the standards with which the internet is based on today. This role also gave him the opportunity to travel abroad and visit countries around the world where he brought his wife and family. One such trip included a three-week African Safari.

He was also involved in his community and was a member of the Holmdel Planning Board where he was elected chairman in 1967. He was most proud of his efforts towards preserving the natural beauty of Holmdel by regulating zoning which also ensured the schools were not over-populated.

An avid tennis player he played well in to his 80s which enabled him to hike the Chilkoot trail for his 80th birthday. He also loved to work with his hands as well as his mind and did everything around his house including automobile repair, plumbing, heating and woodwork. He’d always rather build something to learn how to do it.

Holmdel Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements. Memorial donations may be made in memory of Larry to To share a favorite memory or send a message of condolence please visit

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