Leroy Smith, age 88, passed away peacefully the morning of October 12, 2017 at Morris View Healthcare Center. A long-time resident of Mt. Tabor, New Jersey, Leroy "Smitty" Smith was known as a loving spouse, nurturing father, generous friend, dedicated employee and exceptional athlete.
Born on May 2, 1929 in Newark, New Jersey to Alfred Smith and Linne Hicks Smith, Leroy at a young age, distinguished himself as an outstanding athlete, particularly on the basketball court. He remained an athlete throughout his life, participating in boxing, bowling, golf, table tennis and other sports. One of his nicknames, "Leapin' Leroy", spoke to his grace and ability as a basketball player. He was enshrined into the Central High School Newark Athletic Hall of Fame and Brooklyn U.S.A. Athletic Association Basketball Hall of Fame as a hero and pioneer in sports.
Leroy married Hilda "Misty Morn" Sykes in 1952. One year, on Leroy's birthday, they were blessed with a special birthday gift, their son, Roy Sheldon Smith. Their family was complete a few years later with the birth of their daughter, Kelli Karen Smith. The family attended The United Methodist Church at Mount Tabor.
Leroy proudly served his country as a Marine and worked for a number of years at the Star-Ledger in Newark, New Jersey. Leroy was the Warehouse Manager at Miller Harkness Company, Inc. for 38 years, setting an example in word and deed of a dedicated, charismatic, hardworking man of great integrity.
Leroy and Hilda were married for 63 years. In the autumn of their years together, Leroy provided love, care, and protection to "the love of his life" as she faced and eventually succumbed to Alzheimer's disease, never complaining, just saying simply, "this is what being married for over 60 years looks like".
Leroy lived a joyful life filled with the love of family, friends, and neighbors. He was known and admired for his gentle ways, easy laugh, and the sense of honor and grace he brought to all of his interactions with others.
His legacy lives on through his two children, Roy Sheldon Smith of Gillette, NJ and Kelli Karen Smith of Sarasota, Florida. He will be sorely missed by his relatives, the staff at Morris View Healthcare Center and especially by all of his friends in Mt Tabor and throughout the country. His children take great comfort in the thought that he is at last reunited with his beloved Misty.
Memorial Donations can be sent to : United Methodist Church of Mt. Tabor, P.O. Box 29, Mt. Tabor, NJ 07878