Per Cappelen Smith '49

Reginald Frost ’51 notified us of Per Smith’s passing just before we received the notice from the Alumni Office.  He died on November 13, 2006, in his native Norway at the age of eighty-five years.

Reg’s relationship with Per Smith was linked to their respective spouses:  Anne (nee Brevoort Murphy) Smith and Reg’s wife-to-be were roommates at Smith (Class of ’51).  They were introduced and marriage followed.

Per married Anne in 1952.  They have a daughter, Jane, and a son, Christian.  Another son, Michael, died in a mountain accident in 1985.  There are two granddaughters, Nina and Kjersti.

His education reached beyond his Amherst days—BS in business engineering and administration at MIT and a MBA at Columbia Univ.  He began his most illustrious and successful career with Revere Copper and Brass in Baltimore as an industrial engineer.  Then, in 1955, he moved to Norway and worked for three industrial companies as an industrial engineer, progressing to chief engineer.  He thereupon joined E. A. Smith AS in 1965 and rose to the position of vice chairman.  E. A. Smith is a family-owned company started by his grandfather in 1869.  They are wholesalers of steel, metals, building materials and associated items.  They also founded and still head a chain of retail outlets throughout the country with annual sales of in excess of $200 million.  Its scope and impact would parallel that of Home Depot (as an analogy).

Their home office is in Trondheim, a city of 140,000 in Norway.  It hosted the World Skiing Championships in 1997 on the 1,000th anniversary of the city’s founding.  Per and Anne were very much involved as volunteers.

He enjoyed skiing in winter and golf on those long summer days.  They loved movies and concerts and their local symphony orchestra.  They own a cottage on the Oslo Fjord in southern Norway and a share of an apartment in Marbella, on Spain’s sun coast, where they’d spend four weeks in the fall and six in the spring.

They enjoyed extensive travel.  They visited New Zealand, Australia, Thailand, Indonesia and South Africa, as well as the Caribbean, Florida and California.

We weren’t able to learn the exact cause of circumstances of his death; however, being eighty five years of age, achieving and relishing life as he did, speaks for his having had a great journey.

—Hank Testa ’49
—Reg Frost ’51