If you have a news tip or story idea, I'd love to hear from you...
To leave a voice message for Linda about any of her stories call toll free 1-855-251-2363
Phil Smart Sr. sold luxury cars, but lived a humble lifestyleMarch 3, 2013 @ 3:48 pm (Updated: 9:17 am - 3/4/13 )
Phil Smart Sr. sold luxury cars, starting one of the first Mercedes Benz dealerships in North America, but his early years were austere.
In 1931, he was 12 years old, trying to get through the Great Depression with his family.
"We lost our home. The bank took our home. Then the bank took our car. We began to rent, move from home to home. I slept in a cot, in a garage, next to an alley in Edmonds," Smart said in a video made several months before his death.
Smart was more than a Seattle car dealer. He was a philanthropist known for his volunteer work with Seattle Children's hospital, the Seattle Rotary Club and the Boy Scouts of America.
He died of natural causes, at the age of 93, last month. Over the weekend, the community celebrated his life at McCaw Hall.
In the video above, Smart talks about the major influences in his life.
"The Depression lasted a long time - 25 percent unemployment. Each of these challenges marked our lives, but everybody was surviving. Surviving. We're survivors. Hope came later," he said.
Smart met his wife in July of 1941 on a beach in Edmonds.
"We were married on November of 1941. Left the Roosevelt Hotel after a one night honeymoon, walked to 8th and Stewart to catch the bus with only five dollars," he said. "Two days later, I went into the Army and served under General Patton," he said.
In 2001, Smart wrote a book called "Angels Among Us" inspired by the children he met through his work at Seattle Children's Hospital.
"Children taught me about fear, faith, hope, love and courage," Smart said, "I listened patiently, and out of the mouths of babes my own faith was reinforced."
Before the Smart family sold its Mercedes Benz dealership in Seattle, Phil Smart Sr. taught his employees the "Rule of Eight" for managing their lives - eight hours were for work, eight hours were for rest, and eight were for helping others.
Smart is survived by his wife of 71 years, Helen, by his son Phil Smart Jr., and daughter Dianne Brady.
By LINDA THOMAS
Bonneville Media encourages site users to express their opinions by posting comments. Our goal is to maintain a civil dialogue in which readers feel comfortable. At times, the comments can descend to personal attacks. Please do not engage in such behavior. We encourage your thoughtful comments which: have a positive and constructive tone, are on topic, are respectful toward others and their opinions. Bonneville reserves the right to remove comments which do not conform to these criteria.