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Theodore S. Smith, III

August 12, 1958 May 11, 2016
Theodore S. Smith,  III
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Obituary for Theodore S. Smith, III

Remembering the Life & Legacy of 
 
THEODORE S. SMITH, III
 
Saturday, May 21, 2016
1:00 p.m.
 
 
Kingdom Hall of Jehovah Witnesses 
434 N. 54th Street , #50
Philadelphia, PA  19139 
 
 
Life Story
 
 
On August 12th 1958 Theodore Samuel Smith III was born to Joyce Elaine Smith (Gray) and Theodore Samuel Smith II in Philadelphia PA. His parents subsequently had four other children: 
Stanley Timothy Smith (Khalil Nasurdin Abdul Salam), Cheryl Renee Smalley, Joyce Elaine Laws & Darrel Smith.
 
Theodore, or Ted as he was affectionately known, was a scholarly student and exceptional athlete receiving academic, chess and football accolades throughout his high school years. He was awarded an academic  scholarship to the University of Pennsylvania and was even recruited by two NFL teams. But his life took a decidedly different turn when he began to study the bible with Jehovah's Witnesses.
 
 On July 2, 1977, at the "Joyful Workers" District Convention of Jehovah's Witnesses in Philadelphia, Ted symbolized his private dedication to Jehovah God by submitting to a water baptism. This began his 31year walk of faith with Jehovah God. 
 
On December 3, 1977 Ted married his first wife Ronda Godwin Smith. Their   loving union produced four sons Theodore IV,  David Michael, Christopher Benjamin and Matthew Brandon. Ted and Ronda served Jehovah together and remained married until her untimely death in 1997.
 
June 22, 1997 marked the start of Ted's second marriage to Lavonnia Michelle Hill-Gilbert (Bonnie). During this union in marriage & faith, Ted helped to raise her four children: Tristan James, Danielle LaRie, Brandon Michael and Sabrina Nicole Katrina. Because of this blending of two families, they affectionately called themselves "the Smilberts". Ted & Bonnie were still married at the time of his death. 
 
During his lifetime Ted had many occupations, his longest employment was with American Airlines as a crew chief for over 18 years until a life-changing injury caused him to become disabled. Although pain was a mainstay in his life, Ted later found employment with Forest Cleaning Service until further health issues caused him to have to cease working altogether. 
 
Although suffering through a myriad of health issues, Ted's faith and service to Jehovah never wavered. All who knew him, knew about his love for and faith in Jehovah God. In 2014, he became a regular Pioneer dedicating 70 hours a month to preaching and teaching the Bible. Ted attended Pioneer Service School in August of 2015 that helped him to hone his bible teaching skills.
 
After months of hospitalization and testing, Ted was diagnosed in April 2016 with ALS. Ultimately, on May 11, 2016, Theodore Samuel Smith III faithfully closed his eyes in death awaiting the promised resurrection that he firmly believed in and shared with anyone who would listen. Ted leaves to mourn his wife Bonnie; his sons: Teddy (wife Sheree), David, Chris (wife Demicka), Matt (wife Shalane); his stepchildren: Tristan Gilbert, Danielle Lambert, Brandon Gilbert and Sabrina Garland (husband Lance); his mother, Joyce Smith; his 4 siblings, 21 grandchildren, 2 great-grandchildren and a host of other relatives and friends who will all miss him dearly.

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