Clarence (“Pop”) Smith was born on November 16, 1945 in Brooklyn, New York to (the late) Geraldine Elliott Smith and Clarence Smith, Sr. Clarence was their only child; however, he came from a large albeit close-knit family who also lived in Brooklyn, and he had a host of uncles, aunts and cousins. And, we cannot leave out “Nannie,” Pop’s maternal grandmother who was the well-loved and respected Matriarch of the family. They were the Elliott family from Fulton Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant, and no one dared mess with them. Nannie gave Clarence the nickname, “Pop.”
Pop attended P.S. 93 and Boys and Girls High School. In 1962, he joined the United States Army and was a proud paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne until 1965. During this time, he married his first wife, Betty Smith. From that union, they had two children.
On August 28, 1976, Clarence married Gail Laverne Simmons a.k.a. DuEwa. From their union, they begat one child, Dafina DuEwa Smith. Popo worked for New York City Transit Authority for nearly twenty years before leaving to become a trainer/manager for bus drivers in a para-transportation company. He retired in 2012.
Pop was outgoing and enjoyed/loved life. He had the gift of gab. One of his favorite sayings when asked how was he doing was “I’m walking, talking and breathing. After that everything is easy.” He was a charmer, a gentleman and a ladies man who loved to dress and look good. Smitty was a proud African-American man who was raised “old school.” Treating each other with dignity and respect (especially elders) were rules both in and out of the household.
Clarence and Gail were inseparable and loved to travel. Cruising was one of their favorite pastimes. They had recently returned from an eight-day vacation in Dubai in celebration of Gail’s birthday. It was an awesome experience.
On Tuesday, July 3, 2018, Clarence unexpectedly departed this life. He was preceded in death by one son, Wayne, and leaves to cherish his memories, his beloved wife, Gail L. Smith; two daughters: Dafina Smith and Rhonda Smith; three grandchildren: Quran Clarence, Leslie and Dwayne Smith; three great-grandchildren: CeAnnah, Amari and LeNaya Smith; cousins, other relatives and friends.