In memory of my father, Lloyd V. Smith

My dad flying

In memory of Lloyd V. Smith

January 31st 1952 – May 14th, 2006

Lloyd loved fixing and building things. He built cars, he fixed cars. He built airplanes and he fixed airplanes.  But I believe when he dreamed, he dreamed of flying.  At the age of 23, Lloyd took his solo flight at Ferguson’s in Pensacola, FL. It was February 28, 1974 and Lloyd was attending the University of West Florida. He had met Arleen, the woman he loved. Soon they would be married and have a wonderful daughter, Sandy.  The family grew together, constantly in the midst of sounds and smells of Lloyd's latest project – be it a Corvette or a Skybolt. 

Lloyd Vincent Smith was born in Louisville, Kentucky on January 31, 1952.  As the oldest of four children in an Air Force family, he lived in a number of places including the Philippines, Kentucky, Texas, and Florida.  He was a 1970 graduate of Choctawhatchee High School in Ft. Walton Beach and from Okaloosa Walton Junior College in Niceville, Florida in 1972.  Lloyd completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Technology in 1975 from the University of West Florida in Pensacola.  He served with the Navy and was stationed on the USS Lexington in Pensacola and was a later employed at the Naval Air Station as a Civil Service employee in the electronics division. Lloyd was an active member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity and past Chapter Advisor for SAE for a number of years before relocating to the Atlanta, Georgia area.  At the time of his death, Lloyd was a senior staff engineer at Nestle-Purina.

Everyone looked to Lloyd for answers about how to fix things. Fix cars, fix radios, fix lawnmowers, fix computers, fix relationships.  If you couldn't fix it yourself, he would fix it for you.  Lloyd would take the time to listen and help his friends with the big questions. Should I buy this car? Should I take this job? Should I move here or there, should I quit school, should I go to school. Should I get married? In these ways Lloyd was everyone's big brother and was always there for them. He was very much loved by those close to him.

He never stopped loving to fix things and build things. He never stopped dreaming. He never stopped loving to fly.  We lost Lloyd while he was doing what he loved.  And we will never stop our loving him.

He is survived by his wife of 31 years, Arleen Smith of Newnan, Ga. and his daughter, Sandy Smith who resides in Atlanta, Ga.  Additional immediate surviving family members include his mother, Corine Smith, Ft.Walton Beach, FL; and siblings Alice Batzel, Brigham City, UT; Kathy Hebert, Destin, FL; and Dennis Smith, Oakton, VA.

– Neil Seeley


5 years ago today, I lost my father. He went for a flight after Mother's Day brunch, experienced an engine failure, and was killed on impact when his plane fell from the sky. This was a horrible day for my family, but over the years we have grown closer by working together and staying positive.

My father's death was an awful thing for me, but I don't want to dwell on the sadness. Instead, I'd like to focus on remembering his spirit. My dad lived a wonderful life, filled with adventure, positivity, hard work, and he followed his dreams. He was a great father and truly one of the most amazing people I've ever known, and I feel incredibly lucky to have had him in my life for 23 years. I will always remember him teaching me that it's always worth pursuing your dreams and that all things are possible with a little hard work, planning and ambition. I think of this every day and aspire to be as hard working, honest and positive as my father.

Life is too short to not live it to the fullest, but sometimes it's shorter than we think… so please take hold of yours and make it everything you've dreamed of. Remember it's the experiences we create through out it all that make life special. 

On that note, one of the last things my dad discussed with my Uncle Dennis was this: 

When I last talked with Lloyd a couple of weeks ago, he summed things up by telling me:

"We are awful proud of Sandy getting ready to complete college…
Things are great with the family…
Things are great at work…
And I'm having the time of my life messing around with these airplanes…
What more could I ask for?"

Indeed… How many of the rest of us could sum up our current situations with a similar statement of complete contentment ?

We should all be so lucky. 


A few photos of my father over the years and some of the things he built:

My mom and dad

My mom and dad.


More after the cut…

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A little positive note

I just wanted to write a post today about staying positive… I've kinda had a stressful week – feeling a little anxious and overwhelmed about some things I need to do in the next month and half. Blech.

But it will be ok – and things will get done! I just have to believe in myself. Doing so is key. Really – I think the two most important things you must do to move forward and accomplish goals are: 1. work hard and 2. stay positive/see the positive side of things. You can't do just one, its important to make time for both. And if its not possible, then it might be time for a break… πŸ˜‰

I keep a little note at my desk for when I'm having a stressful day or need a positive reminder:

I truly believe you can accomplish great things if you put your mind to it and work hard. If there is something you want to do, go for it! Make a plan – work towards a goal - figure out how to make your dreams happen! Once you believe in yourself, you can work towards doing just about anything.

If any of you are having a hard time, maybe print out the picture above and place somewhere for you to see often. ❀ I hope you are all doing well and don't find this post too cheese/serious!

Stay awesome and have a lovely weekend!

Goodbye Geocities! + my website in 1997

If you haven't heard – Geocities is officially shutting down October 26th. This kinda saddens me, and somewhat closes the very first chapter of my internetting life. Geocities helped host some of my very first websites, and with out it I would probably not be where I am now. Many Geocities sites introduced to me to my now favorite interests (Comic books, Illustration/Animation, Costuming, etc…). Plus, it allowed people to meet others who shared similar interests – which was really neat for a nerdy illustrator gal to have growing up! I understand why its being shut down, and its good to move forward and learn new things… but I would like to take this moment to say

Goodbyeeeee Geocities! You were much loved ❀

Me and my illustrator buddy Angela goofing off on the internet in 1998.
We were most likely browsing Sailor Moon fan pages made on GeoCities!

On that note – I scanned some old prints of one of my many early websites in 1997. Yes, I know its weird I printed out my website – but I was really proud of it at 14 and I wanted to show it to my friends who didn't have the internet. Gasp! Internet not being common – can you remember those days? πŸ˜‰

Click the pictures to enlarge!

This is kinda humorous to look back on. I was afraid to use my real name on the internet, so I pretended my name was Jillian Smith! sneaky sneaky. I was also super into Sailor Moon (if its not obvious already) – and oh noooo I'm using Comic Sans! Oh man. The little "who is your favorite scout" thing at the top was a POLL! I thought those were real cool, not sure why it doesn't show the blanks though. My "Jukebox" was links to MIDI files, which I was very proud of… I was also super proud of my ICQ "pager". Oh and check out that Unicorn visitor counter – how ridiculous is that thing?! I like how I included my signature at the bottom of the page to personalize it… its nice to see some things haven't changed about myself. πŸ™‚

Well that's enough of my embarrassing show and tell!
Do you remember your first website? Or better yet, is it still online??