Joseph Andrews Smith Jr. ’46
Joseph A. Smith Jr. passed away on 21 November 2019 at his home in Charlotte, NC. He was 96 years old.
Born on 10 April 1923, “Joe” grew up in Oaklyn, NJ. In 1940, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was offered the chance to prepare for a fleet nomination to the U.S. Naval Academy. In 1942, after attending prep school, Joe began his plebe year with the Class of 1946. It was on a blind date that Joe met the light of his life, Ellie. When the class graduated a year early in 1945, Joe and Ellie were married during June Week.
Joe’s first orders were to Boston (CA-69), joining the ship in Tokyo Harbor. He managed to visit Missouri (BB-63) on the day of the signing of the Japanese surrender. He left Boston in July 1946 and reported to Tarawa (CV-40). He did graduate work at MIT before reporting to Maurice River (LSMR-514).
He resigned his commission in 1949, but was recalled for Korea in 1950, reporting aboard the newly commissioned Oriskany (CV/CVA-34). Later that year, Joe joined Gilbert Islands (CVE-107) for a six-month overhaul at Boston Navy Yard. In August 1952, Joe attended the U.S. Naval War College. He resigned shortly after and went to work for Texaco in Woodbury, NJ.
In 1957, Joe moved the family to Somerville, NJ, where he spent nine years working for Allied Chemical in Manhattan, followed by three years with Raritan Valley Plumbing Supply in Somerville. He also served as a city councilman and police commissioner. In 1969, Joe joined Allied Towing in Norfolk, VA, as VP of Operations and moved the family to Virginia Beach, VA.
Joe and Ellie made several memorable trips on their 36-foot Grand Banks, Shipmate, and were active members of the Agape Class at Virginia Beach UMC. In 1985, Joe and Ellie started Seaboard Transmarine hauling liquid asphalt and aviation fuel up and down the East Coast. In 2000, they sold Seaboard and in 2017, moved to Charlotte, NC.
Joe is survived by his wife of 74 years, Elinor R. Smith; daughters, Sharon (Jim), Sheryl (Jerry) and Shelley (Tim); son, Jay USNA ’74 (Helen); 11 grandchildren; and 23 great-grandchildren. “Cappy Joe” was much loved.
A memorial service was held in Charlotte, with committal at the U.S. Naval Academy Columbarium.