Howard C. Smith, 49, of Lansdowne, a chemist who worked to develop high-efficiency batteries and an avid outdoorsman, died unexpectedly Friday, Aug. 27, following exercise - just three weeks after getting married at a weekend-long celebration in Lake Placid, N.Y.

He was pronounced dead at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital.

Born in Orange, N.J., Mr. Smith graduated from Iroquois High School in Elma, N.Y., and received a bachelor of science degree cum laude from Syracuse University.

He had a 27-year career as a chemist, including the last four years as an associate investigator for DuPont Central Research & Development in the Chemical Science & Engineering Division at Experimental Station Laboratories in Wilmington.

At DuPont, he was part of a science team that developed a new product called Energain for high-efficiency batteries and worked on new products for high-efficiency buildings.

He also had extensive stints with Rohm & Haas, CB Research & Development, and the Sandoz Research Institute.

A resident of Lansdowne since 1995, Mr. Smith married Jean Brennan at Van Hoevenberg Cabins in Lake Placid on Aug. 7 and had recently returned home.

Mr. Smith told his family and friends repeatedly during the wedding weekend: "Never been happier."

"No matter what was going on, he would just smile and say, 'Never been happier,' " his wife recalled.

The couple met three years ago on a blind date and nurtured their dual love of athleticism. They enjoyed biking, skiing, canoeing, and hiking. Mr. Smith, an Eagle Scout who enjoyed woodworking, built his own canoe.

The couple had planned to hike the 46 major peaks of the Adirondacks. In Mr. Smith's memory, friends and family plan to hike the peaks, his wife said.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his parents, Connie and Orin Smith; a brother, Alan; a sister, Margaret; and a stepdaughter, Katie Brennan.

A memorial service will be held at noon Friday, Sept. 3, at First Presbyterian Church of Lansdowne, 140 N. Lansdowne Ave., Lansdowne. Memorial contributions may be made to the Delaware County SPCA, 555 Sandy Bank Rd., Media, Pa. 19063.

Contact staff writer Susan Snyder at 215-854-4693 or