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Obituary for Eldridge W. Smith, Jr.
In Loving Memory
Eldridge "Butter", as he was lovingly called by family and friends, was born to the late Eldridge W. Smith, Sr. and Josephine A. Smith on August 21, 1939 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. On Tuesday, October 25, 2011 at Chestnut Hill Hospital, God in His infinite wisdom saw fit to call his son Eldridge Witherspoon Smith, Jr. from labor to reward.
"Butter" was raised and educated in Philadelphia, PA. He attended Philadelphia's public schools, graduating from West Philadelphia High School at the age of 16, and then received a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary and Special Education from Cheyney University. As a strong believer in continuing his education, he went on to attend Temple University to complete his Master of Education degree in School Counseling in 1973.
"Butter" was brought up attending and serving in church with his parents. He accepted the Lord as his personal Savior at a young age, and actively served within the ministry as a Sunday School teacher and Youth Leader.
In May 1969, "Butter" was wed to Theresa King, and from this union 2 children were born, Whitney Michele Smith and Evan Wade Smith.
Professionally, Eldridge pursued several careers; Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC), Philco Ford, and then entered his career in working as an Assistant Director for a Special Recruiting Program at Temple University. He was then appointed as the Associate Director of Admissions and confirmed by the President of the University as Director, making him the 1st African American Director of Admissions at Temple University in 1977. This honor was acknowledged publicly in the local newspapers and Jet magazine. He finished his tenure at Temple as a Director on Special Assignment in the Office of Community Relations at Temple University Hospital. After retiring from a noteworthy career with Temple, he desired to continue his service in education and entered into the Philadelphia School System and worked with the special needs high school students and adults until his retirement in June 2010.
"Butter" was a strong advocate of education and encouraged and helped many young people get into college. Many of these students were 1st generational college students and found success when being recommended to meet with him at Temple University for an opportunity for admissions. He was looking forward to continuing in this service of helping others enter college and frequently held conversations about it up until his passing.
In his spare time, "Butter" enjoyed spending time with his family and friends socializing and watching sporting events, as he was an ardent fan of the Philadelphia Eagles and 76ers.
On November 28, 1987, "Butter" married the former Norma Jean Vinson. The 23 years spent together have been filled with love and respect.
Loving memories will forever remain in the hearts of his wife Norma Jean Smith; daughter Whitney Smith Williams(John); son Evan Wade Smith; 1 brother Robert Smith; step-sons Richard and Robert Hill; grandchildren, Jayda, Ryan and Nia Faith; step-granddaughter, Charde Hill; 1 niece Dianne Robinson and a host of other relatives and friends.
There will be a viewing on Friday, November 4, 2011 10:00 AM at Vine Memorial Baptist Church located at 5600 West Girard Avenue. The funeral service will start at 11:00 AM. Final resting place to conclude at Eden Cemetery in Collingdale, PA.