CHICAGO — The founder of Walter E. Smithe Furniture and Design has died.
Walter E. Smithe Jr’s death was announced Thursday on the company’s Facebook page. It said he passed away peacefully Sunday with his wife of 64 years at his bedside.
The full statement reads:
It is with a heavy heart that we share the news that our founder, Walter Edward Smithe, Jr., has passed away. He died peacefully with his beloved wife of 64 years, Florence, by his side. Many family members from far and near gathered close during his final days, cherishing the memories of time spent with Papa during the 86 years of his extraordinary life. The legacy of his life and work lives on in the hearts of all whose lives were touched by this great man. And now he rests in peace.
Smithe and his brothers, Gary and Tomm, built their business on creating custom upholstered furniture — and now there are nine locations.
Smithe grew up in the city’s Belmont Central neighborhood and earned degrees from Notre Dame and Loyola University.
Smithe Jr. was 86.