Salem — Leo J. Smedile, age 91, oldest living retired policeman in the City of Salem, died Sunday, November 4, at Devereux House in Marblehead, following a brief illness. He was the devoted husband of the late Sophie F. (Kobuszewski) Smedile.
Born and raised in Salem, he was the son of the late Stephen and Filippa (Guinta) Smedile. A veteran of World War II, he served with the U.S. Coast Guard. Prior to joining the Salem Police Department, Leo worked as a machinist at the Charlestown Naval Yard. Once on fulltime duty, he worked the traffic box in Salem Square and eventually became one of the first motorcycle patrolmen for the city. During his early years on the force he saved the grandson of a Salem boatyard owner from almost certain death due to a gasoline explosion. Throughout his career, he escorted many leading political figures including the then-Senator John F. Kennedy.
Leo enjoyed spending time with his family and especially his grandchildren. Most of his life he was an avid fly fisherman, fishing for salmon and trout in the northern U.S. and Canada. In later years he left fishing to take up golf at a more leisurely pace.
He is survived by three daughters, Patricia Smedile and her companion Carol White of Topsfield, Janice Charlton and her husband Scott of Salem, Susan Previte of Danvers; a son, James S. Smedile and his wife Rosemary of North Andover; a brother, John S. Smedile and his wife Judy of Florida; two sisters-in-law, Louise Smedile of New Hampshire and Theresa LeBel of Salem. He also leaves seven grandchildren, Christopher and Timothy Smedile, Capt. Ryan Smedile, U.S. Army, Nicholas, Taylor and Patrick Charlton and Corrine Previte, as well as many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his brother Joseph A. Smedile.