Obituary: Philip Batterman Smith, Long-time Darien resident, served on RTM
Philip Batterman Smith died on January 29th in Delray Beach Florida, after a brief illness. Mr. Smith was born in New York City on January 5, 1936 to Allen Batterman Smith and Eleanor Irving of Rye, NY. He was a resident of Darien, CT for 55 years, and part time resident of Delray Beach, Florida and Edgartown, Massachussetts.
Phil is survived by his wife of 55 years, Linda May Smith and his three daughters, Susan Smith Pettenati (John) of Ridgewood, NJ, Elizabeth Smith Klein (Michael) of Darien, CT and Alice Smith Clark (Jonathon) of New Canaan, CT, and his son in law, Kenneth A. Southworth. He was predeceased by his daughter Eleanor Smith Southworth. He is also survived by his 10 grandchildren Jack, Michael and Luke Pettenati; Molly, Larsen, and Grace Klein; Caroline and Jack Clark; Katherine and Alden Southworth and many more relatives including his two nieces, Marjorie Roney of Darien, CT and Dorothy Holt of Cumberland Foreside, ME and their families, and his cousin William H. Morton of Vero Beach Florida.
Phil was a graduate of the Trinity-Pawling School and Princeton University. He rose to the ranks of a Lieutenant J.G. in the United States Navy, and received his MBA from Harvard Business School. He had a long career as a banker and in venture capital, starting at Citibank and most recently as a founding member of IQ Venture Advisors. Phil founded Citicorp Venture Capital in 1967 and served at its first President and Chief Executive Officer until 1972. He later continued his career at Irving Trust Bank as an Executive Vice President and group executive of the World Wide Corporate Group. Subsequently, he became founding partner of Lawrence Venture Associates and Arete Ventures, the management company of Utech Venture. In addition, he was a managing director of the merchant banking group of Prudential Securities and Vice Chairman and co-founder of Spencer Trask Securities. Mr. Smith served on numerous Boards of Directors. Mr. Smith trained a generation of venture capitalists, including some of the most successful investors of their time, while working at Citicorp Venture and also as an Adjunct Professor, teaching a Venture Capital course at the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University.
Living in Darien for 55 years, Phil devoted many hours of his spare time to his community, serving on the RTM, teaching at St. Luke’s Parish Church School, mentoring inner city youth, and recently serving as one of the first board members of The Darien Firemen Foundation.
He was a member of Wee Burn Country Club, Racquet and Tennis Club, Edgartown Yacht Club, The Edgartown Reading Room, Edgartown Golf Club, The Little Club, Manalapan Yacht Club, and the Gulf Stream Bath and Tennis Club.
Phil was known by his family and many friends as The Captain. His love of family was his first priority, especially his devotion to his loving wife Linda and his daughters and their families. He recently celebrated his 80th birthday sailing in the Caribbean with his entire family. He was an avid athlete, and one by one, he taught each child, grandchild and many of their friends how to sail, fish, golf, ski, skate, play touch football and master chess. His first love was the water, and his happiest moments were spent racing his Shields or fishing for blues off Martha’s Vineyard. His stories were long, and his advice never ending, a true friend and mentor to so many. One close friend wrote, “ if you were lucky enough to meet and know Phil, you were lucky enough.”
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in his honor to c/o Headmaster William W. Taylor, Trinity-Pawling School Scholarship Fund, 700 Route 22, Pawling, NY. 12564
A service of remembrance will be held at 11:00 AM on Tuesday, February 9th at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Darien, CT.