Eric Lowell Smeltzer, 65, of Rockbridge Baths, died peacefully on Oct. 6, 2020, at his home.

Born August 28, 1955, in Kokomo, Indiana, he was the son of the late Max Eugene Smeltzer and the late Martha Dilts Smeltzer.

He is survived by his high school sweetheart of 47 years, Dr. Linda Louise Larsen; his children Ian Matthew Larsen Smeltzer and CPT Andrew Phillip Larsen Smeltzer (Dr. Kristine Bauer-Nilsen); his siblings Mary Smeltzer McGuire, Carl David Smeltzer, and Jane Smeltzer Coleman; his nephew, David Max Coleman, his niece, Emilie Lynn Coleman, and his brother-in-law and dear friend Dr. Mark William Larsen; as well as his second family Denise Callaway Riestad (Gary), Gordon Callaway (Kim) and Dwight Callaway (Sharon Caster) and his “river family.”

Eric was an Eagle Scout, an assistant Scout leader for Troop 5 in Lexington, and a two-time attendee of the Boy Scouts of America National Jamboree. He graduated from Haworth High School in Kokomo, Indiana, and Blue Ridge Community College in Weyers Cave, and was an honorary member of the Palmer Chiropractic College Class of 1979.

Eric owned and operated Rockbridge Telecom for over 25 years, which took him all over the valley and deep into the mountains to install and service satellites in homes and businesses. He loved helping his customers, solving their problems, improving their lives.

He was a founding member of the Blue Hole Gang and “Mayor of the Island,” and attended the Indianapolis 500 race with high school friends for 31 consecutive years. Eric and Linda opened their home and their lives to children throughout the community and expanded their family along the way. He volunteered at the Yellow Brick Road Early Childhood Center for 30 years.

Eric had a gentle but still fierce spirit, sought to live by the Golden Rule, and went out of his way to help those in need. He was devoted to racquetball, to his everexpanding hat collection, to the great outdoors. He loved Rockbridge County and was grateful every day that he and Linda found this community. Most of all, he was thankful they were wise enough at 17 to realize they had each met their soulmate. Eric and Linda grew up together and shared the adventure of their lives for nearly half a century.

There will be a private, socially-distanced burial. In lieu of flowers, please honor Eric by donating to Yellow Brick Road Early Childcare Center, 123 Yellow Brick Road, Lexington, VA 24450 or the Blue Ridge Food Bank, 96 Laurel Hill, Verona, VA 24482.

Arrangements were made by Harrison Funeral Home & Crematory. N-G

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