Biography: William Herman Smith was born January 8, 1943 to Viola Doctor Smith and Archie Smith in Beaufort, South Carolina, he departed this life on Sunday January 27, 2019 after a lengthy illness. William was affectionately known as Junie and Smithy to both family and friends.
William was baptized at an early age and as a young man he attended the Metropolitan Community United Methodist Church under the leadership of the late Rev. William James. William was not a regular church attendee but he knew and believed in the power of almighty God.
Junnie was educated in the elementary schools in Beaufort, S.C. and upon relocating to New York City finished his education in the N.Y.C. Public School system, graduating from Harren High School. In March of 1964 William was a finalist in the Golden Gloves open class 147lbs division. He also won the P.A.L Citywide open class championship in May of 1964. His professional career in boxing lasted from 1966 until 1968. He was Emile Griffin's sparring partner and helped Griffin regain his middle weight title from Nino Benvenuti. After a successful career in boxing. William went into advertising.
He attended the New School for Social Research studying the field of advertising. William was employed as a copywriter at J Walter Thompson Advertising Company, one of the few Blacks working at the firm in the late 60’s, early 70’s. William held many jobs; working at the Jacob Javits Convention Center; World Trade Center and The Riverside Park Community to name a few. He made many lifelong friends along his career, always having a smile, a joke or conversation to share in English or in Spanish.
William loved the outdoors, living many years in the Pocono Mountains, he was an avid walker, walking many places most people would take some mode of transportation to get to. He was also a knowable crosswords solver and a reader of books on many different content areas affording him the ability to comment intelligently on many subjects, he also enjoyed a good game of chess.
Junnie was also the “Big Brother” because of his love of family and his desire to take care of things. He loved his children and tried to stay connected to them and treasured time spent with them. He was a very proud dad. His legacy to us is to ask questions don’t just accept what’s being said and never stop learning.
William leaves to cherish his memory: sons: Kevin, Edward, Shawn, Glenn and Jeffrey; daughters: Radiente, Tabitha, Shaneeka and Alexis; eleven grandchildren, five great-grandchildren; brothers: Reverend Donald L. Smith and Kenneth Smith; sister, Geraldine Ross; brother-in-law Lewis Ross; aunt: Isadora Sellers; and a host of nephews, nieces, cousins and friends. William’s smile and good heartedness will surely be missed by all who knew him.