Jesse Smith, a retired stonemason, died on Monday, July 8, 2019. He was 88.
He was born on April 26, 1931, in Camden, South Carolina, to the late Isaiah and Hannah Gray Smith. He was one of 10 children.
He received his primary education in the public school system of Kershaw County, South Carolina, but had to start working at an early age due to family circumstances.
Smith received Christ at an early age. He and his family were members of the former St. Mark Baptist Church until he relocated.
Following his older brothers, Smith moved to Philadelphia in 1955. He worked at the Ridge Tire Co. for many years and then as a stonemason for the Media Quarry Co. before retiring in 1993.
He married Alberta Christmas on July 9, 1964. They were married for 55 years. Through this union, he became the father to two children and his youngest daughter was born.
“Jesse trusted the Lord with all his heart and soul,” his family said in a tribute. “God paved a righteous path for him. Jesse touched the lives of so many people with his mild, quiet manner. He admired and respected his children and just embraced the beautiful life he made with and for his family.”
He was known for positively impacting the lives of some of the young men from his neighborhood.
He was preceded in death by his sons, Donald Christmas and Jesse Smith Jr., and nine sisters and brothers.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by: his daughters, Genobia Hamilton and Nona Marie Smith; son, Ronald Smith of Brooklyn, New York; granddaughters, Mwane Issac and Niya Smith-Hutson of Philadelphia and Victoria Baskins of Camden, South Carolina; grandson, Jesse Smith III of Littleton, North Carolina; great-granddaughter, Asia S. Hill; sister-in-law, Catherine Christmas of Winston-Salem, South Carolina; goddaughter, Latonia Swinton-Tucker; and other relatives and friends.
Services were held July 15 at Ivan M. Kimble Funeral Home, 1110 N. 63rd St. He is buried in Fernwood Cemetery.