Joseph (Joe) F. Smith passed away peacefully on January 18 in Cornwall, Pennsylvania, surrounded by loving family.
Born on July 16, 1932, in Cullman, Alabama, Joseph was the oldest child of Charles T. Smith and Audrey Bates Smith of Cullman, Alabama.
Joe is predeceased by his wife, Carole, and is survived by his sister, Edith Templeton, and his three children: Karen Skillman (John), of New Paltz, Kimberlie Hyde (Glenn), of Rochester, NY, and Joseph T. Smith (Lisa), of Myerstown, PA; grandchildren, Matthew Skillman, Kathleen Wobby (Ryan), Craig Smith (Sonja), Holly Hitz (Zach), Eric Smith (Becky), Jessica Hyde, and Jason Hyde, and nine great-grandchildren.
Joe moved with his family from Cullman, Alabama, to Yonkers, NY, in 1935 when he was 3 years old. Joe held several jobs as a paperboy, busboy, golf caddy, and usher at the local movie house.
Joe joined the Marines right out of high school and was sent to Korea to support the war effort as a Howitzer gunman. He never discussed the war with anyone but said the terrain was difficult with no paved roads and weather that was either very hot or very cold. When he returned from Korea as a Sergeant, he purchased a 1947 DeSoto 2 Door Coupe. He was so proud of that car. He drove it back and forth from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, to NY to visit his family.
He was honorably discharged from the Marines and went to school to learn how to operate the Linotype machine (used in the printing trade), which gave him the skills to land a job working for the New Paltz Independent.
He married Carole Kinsella in 1956 after a long-distance courtship. They both opened Franklin Printing in 1969 at 55 Main St., New Paltz, NY. They purchased equipment at auctions to save money, printed the Archery News, and expanded to do printing work for many businesses in the Ulster County region. Franklin Printing was his pride and joy, and his work was rewarded with returning customers. His children worked at the print shop and learned the meaning of hard work and the value of a dollar. The print shop was a successful town business for 30 years until he retired in 2001.
Joe was a member of St. Andrews Episcopal Church and served his community on the Chamber of Commerce. He hung Christmas light strings throughout the village on cold winter days, set up the voting machines for election day, and as Chamber of Commerce President, organized many events in New Paltz. He just loved the New Paltz area and did what he could to make New Paltz a wonderful town to live in.
After retirement, Joe and Carole moved to Myerstown, PA, in 2001 to be near their son, Joseph, his wife, Lisa, and grandchildren. He stayed active at his church, was a caregiver to Carole, and enjoyed his grandchildren’s activities that lived nearby.
Joe was an entrepreneur, business owner, community leader, advisor, and loving father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He will be missed every day by so many.
Joe’s family would like to thank the staff at the Seniors Helping Seniors organization and Cornwall Manor for providing excellent care for their father over the last few years.
A celebration of Joe’s life is being held at Christman’s Funeral Home on Wednesday, January 25, from 6 to 8 PM. Funeral services will be held at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church on Thursday at 10 AM. Interment immediately following at Frieden’s Memorial Park in Myerstown.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 22 S 6th St, Lebanon, PA 17042 (stlukeslebanon.org).