Leroy Smith

March 1, 1936 ~ June 24, 2018 (age 82)

LEROY SMITH, also known by many of his family and friends as “Smitty”, was born on March 1, 1936 in Boyce, Louisiana. He was the eldest of twelve children born to Mattie and Brooks Smith; including three sisters that preceded him in death: Virgie Hankins, Linda Ellis and Ida Smith.  His early education was achieved through the Boyce, Louisiana Public School system and he later received an Associate’s Degree in Sociology from ECC Community College in San Diego, California.

Leroy enlisted in the United States Navy in 1955 in Houston, Texas. Shortly thereafter, he met and married Julia Mae Lippton on August, 15 1957 in Alexandria, Louisiana. They resided there until the military transferred them to Los Angeles, California and ultimately to San Diego, California. This became their permanent place of residence and after several years of praying and trusting God, they were blessed in their union when their lovely daughter, Kimberly was born, whom her father affectionately called “Girl”. 

Leroy served his country faithfully on several ships and at many duty stations across the globe for over 20 years and is a Vietnam War Veteran.  He earned the rank of Petty Officer First Class during his military career and he received many awards and commendations during his enlistment while knowing he was providing freedom and liberty to all of his shipmates and fellow countrymen. 

Upon his retirement and honorable discharge from the United States Navy in 1975, Leroy was employed at the NASSCO Shipbuilding Company and worked diligently until his retirement from there after 22 years of service.

After receiving Jesus Christ as his savior in 1959, Leroy joined the Trinity Baptist Church in San Diego, California under the leadership of Reverend Washington and later he and his wife moved their membership to the Greater Jackson Memorial COGIC in 1962 under the leadership of Bishop J. A. Blake, Sr.  Leroy was a dedicated servant and worker for the Lord and served in many capacities, which included President of the Usher Board, Sunday School Teacher and Church Bus Driver to pick up members of the congregation for worship services.  Leroy and Julia eventually joined the Mount Olive COGIC in 1994 under the leadership of Superintendent Vernon Cooper. As a community leader, he dedicated his time with Boy Scouts Troop 404.  He also served the Lord in the prison ministry at Camp Barack and Donovan Detention Facility.  Leroy was a member of the Usher Board, the Deacon Board and the Trustee Board. He participated faithfully with the Food Project until his health would no longer allow him. Leroy was a current member of the Revival Time COGIC under the leadership of Superintendent Lonnie Lynch. He was a person who would literally “give you the shirt off his back” if he saw that you needed help. He was a very kind and generous man and was a true example of “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might…” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).

Leroy loved his wife as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her every day. He loved his daughter and brought her up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord without compromise.  He loved his son-in-law not in word neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth.  He loved his fellow brethren with a pure heart fervently.

On June 24, 2018 at 4:32 P.M., God called Deacon Leroy Smith from “Labor to Reward”. He leaves to cherish his wonderful memories:  his wife of almost 62 years, Julia M. Smith; his daughter, Kimberly S. Roberts and son-in-law, Elder Gregory A. Roberts all of San Diego, CA; seven brothers: Odell Smith (Catherine), Earnest Smith (Martha), Perry Smith, Terry Smith and Ronald Smith (Shelia) all of Alexandria, LA; MacArthur Smith of Atlanta, GA and James Ray Smith of Rio Vista, CA; one sister, Earany Smith Washington (Tillman) of Lena, LA; one godson, Orion Graham of Palmdale, CA; one goddaughter. Richelle Perazich of Washington, DC; his play-son, Wendell Parker of San Diego, CA;  and a multitude of nieces, nephews, relatives, church family and friends.

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