ASHTABULA — Roger Drew Smith, age 70, of Lake Road West, passed away Wednesday, June 26, 2013, at the Cleveland Clinic.
He was born April 17, 1943, in Harlan, Ky., the son of Drew and Glenna (Priddy) Smith and had been an Ashtabula resident since 1992, previously living in Painesville.
After earning his master’s degree in education from Eastern Kentucky University, his professional career as a teacher and guidance counselor impacted the lives of countless students in Ashtabula County. For 15 years, he worked at St. John High School before moving to Germany in 1989 to work as guidance counselor on a U.S. Army military base for three years. Upon his return, he worked for the Ashtabula Area City Schools and later Geneva Local Schools before his retirement in May of 2005. His love of children could not keep him away for long however, as he joined the staff at Kent State University Ashtabula Campus where he worked as an English Professor, Adjunct Instructor, and teacher of Study Strategies and First Year Experience. He was known as one who really loved working with kids who needed the help the most and was a great inspiration to many young people throughout his counseling years.
Roger loved the arts and wrote newspaper critiques and reviews for Ashtabula Arts Center, the Cleveland Playhouse, Playhouse Square, Cleveland Community Theater, Rabbit Run, and the Beck Center. He had even had one of his reviews quoted in the New York Times. He also enjoyed classical music and was a sponsor of the Cleveland Art Museum and Cleveland Orchestra.
A member of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church for over 20 years, he was a long-standing Senior Warden, Eucharistic Minister, Lector, and Worship Leader. He was instrumental in beginning the Fine Arts program “Music Without Barriers” through the church as well as the My Neighborhood group and served on several committees for the Episcopal Diocese of Ohio. He also regularly selected the entrees for the Mother’s Day banquet at the church.
His history of local service was extensive through the Advisory Committee of Beattitude House and service on the board of many organizations including Ashtabula County Children’s Services, Ashtabula Area College Committee, Access, After School Discovery, and the Ashtabula Orchestra.
Roger loved to travel the world but was perfectly content looking out the window at “his lake,” as he liked to refer to the view of Lake Erie from his home. An accomplished pianist, he was the musician of his church as a teenager. An avid cook, blue cheese cheesecake was one of his favorite dishes to prepare.
His survivors include his daughter, Glenna (fiancé’ Lee Stover) Smith of Elkhart, Ind.; one brother, Philip Smith of Harlan, Ky.; nieces and nephews, Philip Smith Jr., Penny Smith-McFadden, and Stacey Smith; the mother of his daughter, Sandra F. Smith of Venice, Fla.; his longtime companion, Enrique Solis; and his extended family in Costa Rica.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Calling Hours will be held at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 4901 Main Ave., Ashtabula on Monday, July 1st, from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. and on Tuesday, July 2nd from 10 to 11 a.m.
A Service will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, July 2nd, at the Church, with Canon C. David Evans, Rector presiding. Inurnment will follow in the St. Peter’s Episcopal Church Columbarium.
Contributions may be made to the Living Memorial Fund of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. DUCRO FUNERAL SERVICES AND CREMATORY, 4524 Elm Ave., Ashtabula is in charge of arrangements.
Obituary at www.ducro.com and starbeacon.com.