Deacon Edward Smith, a permanent deacon in the Diocese of Rochester for more than three decades who ministered in Ontario County, died Dec. 11, 2021. He was 75 years old.
Deacon Smith was a 1964 graduate of Waterloo High School. Following graduation, he worked as a logistics manager at Exxon Mobile in Manchester before entering the diaconate in 1985. He received his master of theology degree from St. Bernard’s Institute in 1992.
Deacon Smith was ordained to the permanent diaconate on May 30, 1992, by Bishop Matthew H. Clark at Sacred Heart Cathedral.
Upon his ordination, Deacon Smith was assigned to St. Dominic Church in Shortsville, which subsequently clustered with St. Felix Church in Clifton Springs and St. Patrick Church in Phelps and became St. Peter Parish.
“What always struck me most about Deacon Ed Smith was his consistently calm and pleasant personality,” recalled Father Peter Van Lieshout, who was pastor of St. Peter Parish from 2019-21. “No matter what was happening, he seemed to maintain a sort of serenity that I always admired.”
Throughout his training and first decade as a deacon, Deacon Smith continued working as a supervisor at Mobil Chemical in Macedon and Canandaigua until his retirement in 2005. He reached senior status as a deacon in 2020.
During his active ministry, Deacon Smith would regularly visit nursing homes, assisted living facilities and the rehabilitation unit at the Clifton Springs Hospital & Clinic, as well as lead prayer services and Communion services for St. Peter Parish as needed.
“He was well-known in the community and was loved by the people,” said Father John Gagnier, pastor of St. Peter Parish from 2013-17. “His longevity in diaconal service was a great gift to me and to all those (St. Peter Parish) communities.”
Deacon Smith’s funeral Mass was celebrated by Father Thomas Mull with assistance from Deacon Kevin Carges Dec. 15, 2021, at St. Dominic Church in Shortsville.
Deacon Smith is survived by several nieces, nephews and cousins. In lieu of flowers, the Smith family has requested that memorial donations be made to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, 1702 E. Highland Ave., Suite 400, Phoenix, AZ 85016.
Additionally, expressions of sympathy may be directed to Deacon Smith’s nephew, Jody Smith, at 31 Carlton Road, Waterloo, NY 13165.