Cover photo for Dr. Neil E. Smeck's Obituary
Dr. Neil E. Smeck Profile Photo
1941 Dr. 2023

Dr. Neil E. Smeck

July 9, 1941 — August 14, 2023


Dr. Neil E. Smeck, 82, of Baltimore, passed away on August 14, 2023 at his home with loved ones by his side, after a lengthy battle with dementia.  He was born on July 9, 1941 to the late Dale and Estella Smeck in Lancaster, OH. He was a 1959 graduate of Liberty Union High School, received BS and MS degrees from The Ohio State University and a PhD from The University of Illinois.  His academic career included teaching and research, specializing in soil classification and genesis, first at North Dakota State University and then for 36 years in the Department of Agronomy and School of Natural Resources at The Ohio State University. He was a published author of three books and numerous articles for scientific journals, as well as extensive lecturing at both national and international conferences. He received a one year teaching and research invitation from the Ministry of Education and Science in Spain and was awarded a J. William Fulbright Scholarship Award for study in Argentina. Upon retirement, Dr. Smeck was appointed Professor Emeritus at The Ohio State University. He was a charter member of Faith Lutheran Church in Baltimore and enjoyed farming, hiking, Ohio State football and basketball and travel in his spare time. He loved adventure and delighted in having traveled to all 50 states, six continents and more than 30 countries both on behalf of The Ohio State University and privately.

Neil was preceded in death by his parents, Dale and Estella Smeck, and brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Rev. Jim and Jackie Graeser.  He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Judy (Clum) Smeck, daughters Rev. Julianne Smeck of Columbus, OH and Jenny Smeck of Baltimore, OH, son Jason (Amy) Smeck of Blacklick, OH, grandchildren, Connor Smeck, Olivia Smeck and Claire Smeck, all of Blacklick, OH, sisters Sharon (Norman) Franke of Lancaster, OH, Karen (Don) Santore of Baltimore, OH, brother Bob (Cecelia) Smeck of Lancaster, OH, and brother-in-law, Frank (Linda) Clum of Florence, SC and many nieces and nephews.

The family will receive family and friends at the Johnson-Smith Funeral Home, 207 S. Main Street, Baltimore, OH, on Tues., Aug. 22, during the hours of 2-4 and 6-8 at the funeral home and one hour prior to the service which will be on Wed. Aug. 23 at 11:00 am at Faith Lutheran Church, 990 S. Main Street, Baltimore with the Rev. Jill Dunlap officiating.   Burial will follow at the Basil Cemetery on Basil Western Road, Baltimore, OH. Donations may be made in his memory to Faith Lutheran Church, 990 S. Main Street, Baltimore, OH 43105 or to Fairfield County (OH) Historical Parks, 9270 Pickerington Road, Pickerington, OH 43147 to be directed to the further development of Smeck Park in Baltimore, OH. The family wishes to thank Capital City Hospice for their kind care during his illness. Online condolences can be made at

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