We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Martin's Home For Service Inc.
Leroy Smith was born on October 21, 1932 in Henderson, NC, to Chester Alvin Smith and Minnie Young. He was called home on the morning of December 4, 2021 in Durham, NC. He was the youngest of four children and was preceded in death by his two brothers, Jasper and Eugene, and sister, Mary Lee.
Leroy was educated in Vance County Public Schools in Henderson, NC and graduated from Henderson Institute in 1953. He was a Hall of Famer for football, baseball and basketball during his time at Henderson Institute. After high school, he served in the United States Army and then attended Shaw University where he earned his bachelor degree in Education. He went on to receive his Master’s in Education at Seton Hall University and worked for the Passaic Board of Education as a Special Education and Physical Education teacher until his retirement in 2009. He was PROUD to be the first African American Head Football Coach in Passaic County.
Leroy met his beloved wife, Gladys Spivey, at a Shaw Alumni meeting in Montclair, NJ, in April 1960 and were married in June 1960. Love grew and blossomed and grew some more….so much more that the Lord added a bundle of joy to their lives; none other than their beautiful daughter, Angela Marie.
He attended St Paul’s Baptist Church for many years before attending Rising Mt. Zion Baptist Church where he was affectionately known as “The Candy Man” by many children of the church. They always looked forward to the end of service to receive hugs and candy from him. He was always giving, compassionate and full of life.
He was a devoted member of the Masonic Hall Jephthah Lodge No. 56 where he served as the Worshipful Master (1987-1988). He was also a member of the American Legion where he served as Commander Adjutant for Post 251. Mr. Smith was a frequently recognized for all of his contributions to his organizations and community—far too many to name. He was very proud of his many accomplishments throughout his life and enjoyed sharing with anyone who would listen. He was a strong advocate for black excellence and looked forward to the annual Heritage parade in Montclair where he would fellowship. He enjoyed sharing his life experiences and wisdom to all who loved him. He was a proud son, husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. He truly was one of a kind and will be missed by all.
In his spare time, he enjoyed talking, meeting new people, dancing, reading, riding his motorcycle, eating good food (especially ice cream). He also enjoyed walking Nishuane and Edgemont Park and so much more. He was a devoted supporter of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s) specifically his alma mater, Shaw University where he contributed annually.
Memories of our devoted and incomparable Leroy will always remain in our hearts and minds of those he leaves behind. To cherish those memories, he leaves his loving and devoted daughter, Angela Marie Smith Teal; son-in-law, Rodriguez Teal; grandson, Austin Jarod Teal; granddaughter, Aniya Marie Teal; great-grandson, Zayne Jionni Teal and a host of in-laws, cousins, nieces, nephews, and loving friends.
In lieu of flowers , the family request donations be made to Shaw University by mail (118 E. South Street, Raleigh, NC, 27601) or online Give to Shaw University (shawu.edu)