Carl L. Smith


Carl Leo Smith was born November 12, 1933, to Herbert and Christine Smith Miami, FL and took flight June 29, 2023. Carl grew up in a Christ centered home and was baptized and received the sacrament of the First Holy Communion at St. Phillip Xavier Catholic Church, Miami, FL, where he also served as an altar boy.

Carl attended the public schools in Miami, FL and graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in 1951. After high school, Carl enlisted in the United States Air Force, where he was awarded many medals, commendations and played on the base basketball team, during his tour in Japan. Carl’s skill on the basketball court garnered him many basketballs scholarship offers upon discharge. Carl was honorably discharged from the United States Air Force in 1955 and enrolled in Central State College, Wilberforce, OH under the GI Bill.

During his matriculation at Central State College, Carl was a member of the Veterans Club, Florida Club, and the Neuman Club. He was also initiated into Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. It was also at Central State where he met his wife of 60 years, the late Mary Frances (Perry) Smith, whom he married in 1961. Carl and Mary were both members of the Central State College class of 1959. After Carl completed his undergraduate studies, he enrolled in Ohio State University, where he pursued a Master degree of Social Work.

The couple moved to Columbus, OH, where their daughter, Joy Carol was born. Carl had a long and illustrious career with the Department of Defense, beginning as a Purchasing Agent and retiring as a Marketing Consultant/Executive with the Defense Reutilization and Marketing division.

Carl’s motto was “lend a helping hand, when you can” and he lived by those words. He was a mentor with Black Men with A Future; a little league football and softball coach; and a friendship worker with the City of Columbus. In addition, he volunteered with the Holy Family Soup Kitchen; served as president of the St. Vincent DePaul Society of Christ the King Catholic Church; was co-founder of the Bishop Griffin Center; and was nominated for Catholic Man of the Year.

Carl was a staunch supporter of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and encouraged his daughter, nieces, nephews, family friends and Godchildren to attend HBCUs. He loved his alma mater, Central State and was a regular attendee at homecoming well into his 80s.

All who knew Carl, knew he met no stranger, and many people became part of his extended family. He loved to travel, play golf, attend Ohio State Buckeye football games, and share stories with family friends and neighbors.

Carl is preceded in death by his parents, Herbert and Christine Smith; siblings, Ervin, Lenora, Percy, and Lillian Ambrose; and wife, Mary Smith.

He leaves to cherish his memory his daughter Joy (Gregory) Johnson, Atlanta, GA and a host of nieces, nephews, and other family and friends.

Visitation 9:00 AM and Funeral Service 10:00 AM Saturday, July 15, 2023 at Christ The King Catholic Church

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Condolence Messages

  1. Flores Reynolds and Kim Rice

    Thinking of you at this time. Praying that you find comfort in knowing a Heavenly Reunion is happening. Blessings to you and yours.

  2. David schroeck

    You will never be forgotten my friend, rest in heaven and I will one day see you again. Your friend little Dave from Napa. Sincerely David and Cindy Schroeck

  3. Carl Smith thankyou for watching over me and my family as a godparent and friend love chas.

  4. Harold Flowers

    On behalf of Carl’s Central State University classmates and many friends, we offer our sympathies and and deep condolences to Carl’s wonderful family and friends. Carl lived an impactful and giving life blessing the lives of many. He was cool and fun guy, too, and we enjoyed our time with him and his wonderful wife Mary. Both will be missed!

    Thankfully, heaven has greeted both Mary and Carl …

  5. Cerah McDaniels Wilson

    Carl Smith is my god-father, he has been apart of my life since I was born. He was always there. He and I both are god parents to my niece, Kosmic. I’m so glad we get to share that together. I will miss him so much.

  6. Marjorie Telerski

    Carl was the Spirit of The Bishop Griffin Center. He never turned anyone away. He always inspired us to work a little harder and to love a little deeper those who came to us for help.
    We have a solid understanding of our roll in the community because Carl taught us well and led by example. He will long have a place in the heart of the St. Vincent dePaul community.

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