NEWPORT – Keith Nelson Smith, 92, died peacefully March 25, 2008, at his final retirement home, shared with his beloved wife and daughter in North Newport. He was born Feb. 19, 1916, on the family farm in Exeter, the fourth of five children to Carl R. and Laura (Getchell) Smith. He attended Exeter schools and Maine Central Institute, Pittsfield, where he met Josephine Hillaker whom he married April 18, 1934. They settled on the Hillacre Farm, North Newport, and grew it to the largest Central Maine potato farm during World War II. Keith was an innovator and leader in the farm business being the first to totally use tractor power, irrigation, mechanical potato harvesting, and also an innovator in marketing. His civic contributions include serving on the Newport School Board and being the youngest member of the Maine Legislature in 1941, serving for two terms. His industry affiliations include being a founding director of the Maine Farm Bureau, director of Maine State Soil Conservation Service, and founding director of Maine Potato Council. He served many years as a director of Newport Trust Co., its successors and finally Key Bank. Keith was a 69-year member of Meridian Splendor Masonic Lodge, Newport; and a member of Anah Shrine, Bangor; a former member of Tarratene Club, Bangor; and former member of Newport Kiwanis Club. Keith and Josephine were longtime supporters of the North Newport Christian Church, North Newport Cemetery and Stewart Free Library. He was an American patriarch in the finest tradition. His eternal joy was the reverent relationship he and his wife, Josephine, fostered with their 13 grandchildren and their families. The grandchildren enjoyed many carefree days in small groups at the family camp on Moosehead Lake. There they learned “63” golfing and pearls of grandparental wisdom. In later years, they enjoyed their treks to Florida. And to the end, they cherished their days returning to the grandparents at Moosehead, in Florida, and finally North Newport, reliving their memories with the next generation. Keith was physically active, even to the distraction of his descendants to the end. He became an ardent golfer in retirement. He and his wife celebrated their 70th anniversary on the golf course in Florida, and repeated the event at Moosehead where they hosted an annual family golf outing. Keith is survived by his loving wife and companion of 73 years, Josephine Smith of North Newport; his four children, Carl D. Smith and his wife, Linda, of Corinna, Stewart N. Smith and his wife, Sarah, of Orono, Sheila and her husband, Brian Campbell, of Exeter, and Cheryl and her husband, Arthur Alston, of Newport. He is also survived by his grandchildren, great-grandchildren and their families, Carl R. Smith III and his wife, Maryanne, and children, Carl, Taylor and MacKenzie; Elizabeth Smith and partner, Jennifer Hoopes, and sons, Justin and Colin; Chandler Smith and his wife, Elena, and children, Austin and Carter; Karen Bergeron and husband, Mark, and children, Lucas and Ella; Eric Smith and wife, Laura, and children, Sarah and Stephen; Sylvia Miholovich and husband, Phillip, and son, Connor; Susan Cummiskey and husband, Robert, and sons, Carlton and Christopher; Jolynn Campbell; Jeffrey Campbell and wife, Dawn, and sons, Cole and Brody; Adam Edwards and wife, Vicky, and sons, Parker and Bryce; Carol Severance and daughter, Gabrille; Michael Severance and daughter, Crystal; and Mark Severance and wife, Tara. He was predeceased by three brothers, Carl R. Jr., Ralph and Blake; his sister, Elizabeth; and great-grand-daughter, Melena Smith. Friends may call 4-7 p.m. Friday, March 28, at Brown Funeral Home and Cremation Service Center, 34 High St., Newport. Private funeral services will be conducted. Burial will be later this spring in the family lot at North Newport Cemetery. Friends who wish may make memorial donations to North Newport Christian Church, care of Helen Baker, treasurer, 613 Mullen Road, Newport, ME 04953. To sign an online guest book and leave written tributes, please visit