Gary Leighton Smith, of Riverside, N.J., died suddenly March 22nd, 2015, age 61. He was the widower of Lois Smith, who preceded him in death in 2009, the father of Gary Smith, Jr. of Appomattox, Va., and step-father to Victoria Pallet and Jennifer Pallet of Cinnaminson, N.J. He is survived by his mother Carol Renne of Pittsgrove, N.J. and father Leighton Smith of Port St. Lucie, Fl., brother Kile Smith with sister-in-law Jacqueline and nieces Elena and Martina of Philadelphia and Priscilla Herreid of East Haven, Conn., and sister Susan Kinkle with brother-in-law Louis of Pittsgrove, N.J. His sister Carole Marcotte of Fresno, Ca. preceded him in death in 2014. Also surviving him is Mary Smith of Appomattox, Va., the mother of Gary, Jr. He is also survived by many aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Gary was born June 21st, 1953 in Camden and raised in Pennsauken. He was a 1971 graduate of Pennsauken High School, where he sang the role of Prof. Henry Higgins in the senior class production of My Fair Lady, and from where he was chosen to be in the N.J. All-State Chorus. He was a graduate of Camden County College. He served in the 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Army, serving in Germany and rising to the rank of Sergeant, where he was a tank commander and driver. He served in the Army Reserve, winning awards in training and fitness. He spent many years in construction, specializing in carpentry and, with his Commercial Driver License, trucking. He worked as an arborist and in farming, gaining experience which he utilized in one of his great loves, gardening. He also loved to hunt, to work outside, in earlier years to row on the many creeks and streams of South Jersey, to pitch horseshoes and quoits, and to laugh with friends. He liked the Stones more than the Beatles, rhythm & blues more than rock & roll, and every once in a while, a good cigar. He was easy to like, and leaves behind a grieving family and many old friends.
Services will be held Tuesday, March 31, at the Sweeney Funeral Home, Riverside where there will be a visitation from 10-11 AM, followed by a service at 11AM, Interment Bethel Cemetery, Pennsauken In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Holy Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, 2086 Parkview Ave., Abington, PA 19001.