Obituary of Gerard Francis Smith
Gerard Francis Smith 06/10/1935 – 06/25/2019
Deacon Gerard “Jerry” Smith was born June 10, 1935 in Philadelphia, PA to Walter and Marie Smith. He was called home by the Lord on June 25, 2019 while surrounded by his loving family and beloved dog Ginger and great grand-dog, Mr. Higgins. Jerry served in the U.S. Air Force from 1952 - 1956 prior to attending Florida State University. Jerry was stationed at the Pinecastle AFB in Orlando where he met the love of his life, Patricia Ruth Branch of Leesburg, FL. Jerry and Patsy wed on February 4, 1956 and celebrated 61 years of love and devotion to each other. Deacon Jerry had a successful career with the FAA. He was an Air Traffic Controller and served as Chief at Valdosta, Savannah, and Daytona Beach. He retired as Assistant Chief at Orlando International Airport in 1987 after 32.5 years of service. After retirement he and Patsy ventured into real estate and founded Prestige Property Specialists in 1988. Their legacy is carried on by their daughter Kellee Smith. Deacon Jerry was the cornerstone of the Smith family as he and his loving wife Patsy created a family that extended well beyond the walls of their home including four children, ten grandchildren, and five great grandchildren. Affectionately called “Binky” by his family and close friends, Deacon Jerry was a loving man, a trusted confidant and mentor, a devoted Catholic, and a master joke and storyteller. Deacon Jerry was ordained at the St. James Cathedral in Orlando, Florida on June 20, 1998 and was a beloved Deacon at Saint Peter Catholic Church in DeLand, Florida. He was an active member of the community and devoted his time to sharing God’s word through multiple ministries including the KAIROS Prison Ministry, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, training of Altar Servers, as Chaplain for Florida Hospital DeLand, and Campus Ministry at Father Lopez Catholic High School in Daytona Beach. Jerry was a beloved member of the Knights of Columbus and served as past Grand Knight. Deacon Jerry is best known for his quick wit, unforgettable sense of humor, loving heart, wisdom and compassion. He is preceded in death by his parents Walter and Marie Smith; beloved wife Patricia “Patsy” Smith; brothers Walter “Bruzy” and John “Higgin” Smith; sisters Marie “Jetty” Hueber, Margaret “Pudgie” Pultro, Elizabeth “Betty Jane” Mackinder, and Agnes “Aggie” Smith; sons Gregory and Ryan “Bo” Smith. Deacon Jerry is survived by his sister Victorine “Vickie” Kihm (Philadelphia); son Michael (Jennifer) Smith (Deltona); daughter Kellee Smith (DeLand); granddaughters Christa and Catrina Smith (Savannah), Danielle (Jason) Lefebre (DeLand), Erin Rae Smith (Scottsdale), and Anslee Holland (DeLand); grandsons Cory (Ereca) Smith (DeLand), Trey Holland (Atlanta), Scott and Austin Taylor (Deltona), and Jake Kurey (Port Orange); great grandchildren Finnegan and Rowan (DeLand), Breeland (DeLand), Logan and Kairi (Savannah), as well as numerous loving nieces, nephews and close friends. Deacon Jerry will lie in state at Saint Peter Catholic Church (DeLand). Family will receive friends between 5pm-6pm Friday, July 12th with a wake service to follow at 6:00pm at the church. A Mass Service will be held at 10:00am Saturday, July 13th at Saint Peter Catholic Church. Jerry will be laid to rest with Military Honors at Linden Cemetery in Linden, Florida during a private interment. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made in his memory to continue his life’s passion of service by providing inscribed bibles to be distributed through prison ministries. Donations may be made to the Deacon Jerry Smith Memorial Fund (account number ending in 9129) at MainStreet Community Bank 204 S. Woodland Boulevard DeLand, FL 32720.
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