Charles Henry Smith passed away peacefully on Friday, Dec. 21, 2018, at home with his family by his side. He was born in Mount Vernon to Charles H. Smith and Eloisa Delgado. Orphaned by age 5, his aunt and uncle, Thomas and Lillian Romaine of Hawthorne, adopted and raised him along with his two cousins.
Charles was a model student at Briarcliff High School in Westchester County where he was Class President for his sophomore and junior years. In his senior year, he was president of the student council and sports editor for the school paper. He played four years of basketball and baseball and two years of football. He was also a member of Westchester County Glee Club which once performed at Carnegie Hall.
At age 18, Charles enlisted in the US Navy. He served his country in WWII from May 1943 to February 1946 aboard the USS Blue Ridge as an anti-aircraft gunner. He fought in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, in the Philippines, which is considered the largest naval battle in history.
At age 20, while on leave from the Navy, he was introduced to Joan Speirs by his cousin Lillian. It was love at first sight.
Charles completed his service with the Navy and was Honorably Discharged on Feb. 24, 1946. He then attended SUNY Oswego where he earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial arts. He continued his studies at Queens College where he earned a master’s degree in school education and an additional masters plus 60 credits toward his doctorate at NYU.
Charles and Joan were married on June 11, 1950. In the early 1950’s, Charles became an industrial arts teacher at Schreiber High School in Port Washington. In 1964, he became principal of Manorhaven School and decided to move to Port Washington. In 1967, Charles became principal of Main Street School and he remained there until it closed in 1985. His career with the Port Washington School District spanned more than 30 years. He retired in 1987 at age 62.
His primary passion in life was his family but he also loved woodworking, bowling, listening to jazz, playing cards and dominos, sipping his favorite scotch and following his beloved Mets.
Charles’s wife Joan Elizabeth passed away on March 30, 2015. He will be buried with her at Calverton National Cemetery.
Charles is survived by his son Charles, Jr. and his wife Kim; granddaughters Laura and Judith, grandsons Chas and Cole; great-grandsons Jhett, Crew and Lawson, son Steven and his wife Ruth; granddaughter Ruth, grandsons Steven and William, son Jeffery and his wife Dianne; grandsons Conor and Sam, son Andrew and his wife Gail; grandson Lucas, daughter Wendy and her husband Gary; granddaughter Kelly and husband Steve, grandson Eric, and son Richard and his wife Amy; granddaughters Stephanie and Sara and grandsons Kyle and Kevin.