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.


  1. Margaretta Smith says:

    We will miss Dorothy, she was a true friend and trustworthy neighbor. She showed her faith in the Lord by her the work she did.

  2. Jeff Ballou and Rasheedah Thomas says:

    Our sincerest condolences to the Smith family as you mourn the passing of Mrs. Dorothy Smith.

  3. Kimberley Cathey says:

    So sorry for your loss. Praying for you and your family.

  4. Helen Hunter Cox says:

    Soror Kimberly, I will always cherish your mother’s smile and her warmth. Remember that her love is eternal and is always with you. Sending you light and love, as you celebrate her life, and keeping you and family in my prayers.

  5. Cindy Cobb says:

    It was a privilege to have Mrs. Smith as our loving neighbor. She welcomed us as a young couple with open arms when we first moved in and met her nearly 30 years ago. As each of our three sons was born, she treated them as if they were her own. Always ready with a kind word, she greeted us all with a warm smile and genuinely took an interest in each of our lives. Celebrating her life as a life well lived is very appropriate. She devoted herself selflessly to enriching the lives of others as a teacher, mentor, and friend. As her neighbors, we were all lucky to reap the benefits of her compassionate and giving personality as well. Our family is thinking of Doc and Kimberly at this difficult time!

    Love and prayers,
    John, Cindy, Tyler, Jake, and Brady Cobb

  6. Crichelle, Kool & Olivia Kirven says:

    We are so grateful for the calls and memorable letters you sent our way. We’ll be sure Kim and Unc continue to hear from us.

  7. Beverly Davis says:

    Dorothy was one of the first wives I met when our husbands were inducted into Delta Epsilon Fraternity in 1991. She was such a pleasant, helpful, and friendly part of the organization—always a warm smile with good, informative conversation. Dorothy was a fine lady and will surely be missed by many.

  8. Sheila Hernandez & Family says:

    Cousin Dot – your love, grace, and strong sense of purpose was exemplary and it will remain alive in your beloved husband and daughter. Kimberly and Alphonso-we send our love and cover you with continued prayers. Celebrating the beautiful family you are and will always be! Cousins Sheila, Alvin & Alexandra

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