Charles Smith

Obituary of Charles William Smith

Charles W. Smith 1931 – 2021


Charles W. Smith, 89, formerly of Williamsburg, VA, died on January 28, 2021, at Ashleigh of Lansdowne in Leesburg, VA, due to Covid-19 complications. He was born on July 12, 1931, in Aliquippa, PA, to the late Louis A. Smith and Marie Reilly Smith. He was married to Frances Fabbro Smith in 1958 until her death in 2000.


Charlie grew up in Aliquippa, PA, and attended St. Titus Catholic School and St. Veronica High School (in Ambridge, PA). He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from St. Francis College, in Loretto, PA. He then attended the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, in Washington, DC, and received a Bachelor of Science degree. He was drafted into the US Army in 1953 in response to the Korean War but was sent to Austria, assigned to the former Counterintelligence Corps.


Starting in 1954 he began a 34-year career with the US Government, spending about two decades abroad spent in Vienna, Austria, Athens, Greece, Vietnam, Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, and Bonn, Germany. He retired in 1988 to his beloved Williamsburg, VA, and lived there until 2018, when he reluctantly agreed to leave Williamsburg and move to Leesburg to be near his children.


Charlie was very involved in the Catholic Church wherever he lived. He enjoyed lectoring, playing the organ and singing in the Choir. He also was a long-time member of the Williamsburg Choral Guild. He very much enjoyed living in Williamsburg and studied VA and Colonial history so he could act as an informal tourist guide to the many welcome guests who came to visit him and his wife.


Charlie loved to travel, both with his job and for fun. He toured throughout Europe, including Eastern Europe, as well as parts of Asia and Cuba. He was very much into genealogy and took pleasure in researching his Irish and English roots, and contributed to the family history books. He traced his family to colonist Stephen Hopkins, who came to America two ways, via Jamestown and the Mayflower, but he was just as interested in the nearer generations. He researched some of the family on his wife’s side as well.


He leaves behind his daughters Rena Dietrich of Asheville, NC, Catherine (Thomas Cook) Smith, MD of Washington, DC, Julia (Ken) Humphries of Leesburg, VA, and son Christopher (Diana Elliot) Smith of Oakland, CA. He immensely enjoyed his 6 grandchildren; Ellen, Sarah and Eric Dietrich and Kyle, Kevin and Nathan Humphries. He also has very many nieces and nephews and family members spread across the world and had a life goal of visiting them all, which he very nearly succeeded in achieving.


His wife Fran pre-deceased him, along with an infant son Louis Joseph Smith, as well as his siblings, Mary Louise (Mary Lou) Liebegott, Louis Smith, Frances (Franny) McCafferty, Perry Smith, Alice Joan (Joey) Pettibon and John (Jack) Smith.


He will be remembered at a Mass at St. Bede’s in Williamsburg, and a memorial will be held when it is safe to gather. He will be interred next to his wife at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Aliquippa, PA. 

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