October 21, 1932 - December 4, 2021
On October 21, 1932, Leroy Smith was born 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's 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. At a Shaw Alumni meeting in Montclair, NJ, in April 1960, Leroy met his beloved wife, Gladys Spivey, and they 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. 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, Leroy attended St Paul’s Baptist 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 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. Sharing his life experiences and wisdom to all who loved him was his delight. He was a proud son, husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. Being one of a kind, Leroy will be missed by all. During his spare time, he enjoyed talking, meeting new people, dancing, reading, riding his motorcycle, eating good food (especially ice cream). Walking Nishuane and Edgemont Park was enjoyable. Leroy 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. On Thursday, December 9, 2021, from 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. at Scarborough & Hargett Celebration of Life Center, Inc., 309 N Queen Street, Durham, North Carolina 27701 the family of Mr. Leroy Smith will receive guests at a public viewing. A funeral service to honor the life of Mr. Leroy Smith will be held on Monday, December 13, 2021, at Rising Mt. Zion, 27 Monroe Place, Montclair, New Jersey 07042, at 11:00 a.m., with a viewing at 10:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Shaw University by mail (118 E. South Street, Raleigh, NC, 27601) or online Give to Shaw University.
On October 21, 1932, Leroy Smith was born 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... View Obituary & Service Information
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