Dorothy M. Smith

Dorothy M. Smith

Dorothy Mae Alexander Smith was born on April 1, 1938, in Shreveport, Louisiana, the daughter of the late John Alexander and Odessa Brown. She passed away peacefully, surrounded by family on Saturday, June 3, 2023.
Dorothy graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in 1956 and attended Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. During her time at Southern, she was a majorette and member of Southern’s Dancing Dolls and was initiated into Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, Alpha Tau Chapter, in 1958.
After graduating from Southern, Dorothy decided to enrich the lives of students by becoming a teacher. She began her career as a Business Education and Business Math Teacher in 1960 at Grand Avenue High School in DeQuincy, Louisiana.
Several years later, Dorothy had no idea that her life would take her into the wild blue yonder due to a chance encounter at the laundromat. On a weekend trip to visit her mother in Shreveport, Dorothy would meet a young Air Force Officer stationed at Barksdale, Air Force Base, who also was doing his laundry. They struck up a conversation, and the rest, as they say, was history. That Airman was 2nd Lt. Alphonso L. Smith, and he convinced her to marry him in 1962 and would spend the next 60 years of marriage together. From this union, their only child, Kimberly Michaele, was born.
Shortly after they married, Dorothy and Alphonso moved East to New Jersey. While she supported Alphonso as he attended the University of Pennsylvania to get his Ph.D. and MD, Dorothy settled into married life and her newfound teaching profession on the East Coast. Shortly after arriving in New Jersey, Dorothy began working as a teacher and eventually as an Administrator, enriching the lives of students in South Jersey High Schools and local Vocational Schools for the next 50 years.

Dorothy’s background in Business Administration allowed her to teach classes in Typing, Business Administration, Data Processing, RPG II, COBOL and Fortran. Along the way, she lent her skills and talents teaching at Deptford High School, Deptford, NJ, Gloucester County Community College (Rowan College of South Jersey), and Woodrow Wilson High School in Camden, NJ. From 1997 until her retirement in 2012, Dorothy worked as an Administrator for the Camden City Public School District as an Educational Program Specialist, where she worked with new and incoming teachers entering the Camden Public School system. Out of all the things she did, she would often say, “Seeing the excitement of a new teacher wanting to give back to others gives me joy and purpose. I want these teachers to know that I have been where they are and I understand their frustrations. If I can help just one new teacher be successful, I have served my purpose.”
In addition to service in the Southern NJ school system, Dorothy also served her local community as a longtime member of the South Jersey Links, Incorporated. This not-for-profit corporation was established in 1946. It is one of the nation’s oldest and largest volunteer service organizations committed to enriching, sustaining, and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other people of African ancestry.
Dorothy will be best remembered as a mother who would do anything for her husband and child to ensure they succeeded in whatever endeavor they wanted to pursue. She was also a loyal, dependable, and selfless friend, colleague, and neighbor to all who knew her. She was someone who would do anything to help anyone if she could. If she didn’t have the ability to offer direct assistance, she would be able to find someone who could. Dorothy also was known for her love of traveling with Alphonso and Kimberly. She especially loved going to the beach and for her annual trips to Virginia Beach with Kimberly for the “Mother Daughter Bonding Sessions” and visits to Kimberly’s homes in Washington, DC, and Burtonsville, MD. Dorothy also loved reading, home decorating, dancing and music.

Dorothy leaves behind to cherish her memory, her husband of 60 years, Dr. Alphonso L. Smith, daughter Kimberly M. Smith, and fur daughter Madeline.

Come celebrate 85 great years Saturday April 6, 10 to 11 a.m. at Daley Life Celebration Studio, Swedesboro NJ where there will be an 11 a.m. service.


The Hugs at Daley Life Celebration Studio are quite simply the most rewarding way for your grandkids to remember those wonderful times you’ve had together. It’s a unique and personalized service which allows everyone to express their feelings and beginthe first step of the healing process. img


Our mission is to assist families, through innovative techniques, personal attention, insight and resourcefulness, in “sharing fond memories” of someone who has died by planning and creating a meaningful and relevant funeral experience in an atmosphere of elegance, warmth and comfort.