Sidney Smith

Obituary of Sidney J. Smith

Sidney (Sid) Smith, 93, passed away on June 1, surrounded by his loving family. Born in Hollywood, California to Willie & Annie Smith, Sid lived most of his life in California, enjoying the past 65 years in Santa Barbara. Sid served in the Army & stayed in the U.S. during World War II because they weren’t able to find a pair of boots in his correct shoe size when equipping him for his deployment, plus he could type, so was assigned to a desk job. He met his first wife, Millie Jacoby, at a church function in Alameda, & they married in 1943. During their 50 years of marriage, they had three children, travelled a great deal, & were extensively involved in the First United Methodist Church of Santa Barbara. Sid served as Sunday School Superintendent & both of them were in the choir. Millie died in 1994, & in 1995 Sid married Madeline McCoy, who had also recently lost her spouse, whose family had been long-time friends through church. During his life, Sid was a banker, paint store manager, owner of Sidney Smith Painting and Decorating, Inc., Development Officer for the Santa Barbara Girls Club, Executive Director of Hospice of Santa Barbara, Marketing Director for Santa Barbara Christian School, and founder of Nonprofits, Inc, a program he established that assisted over 3,000 people seeking volunteering opportunities or setting up non-profit programs of their own. Sid was an artist, tennis player, singer, & a great whistler. Besides his family, Sid’s passion was volunteering his time, energy & resources toward helping others. He was a proud, 60+year member of Kiwanis International, including serving as Governor of the California/Nevada/Hawaii District from 1973-1974. He established “KIWINS”, a national service organization for high school students, which now has over 3,000 energetic young people, working to help others. Annually, the Sid Smith KIWINS Award Fund makes a monetary gift to the club with the year’s best service project. Locally, for 45+ summers, he was the “greeter” at Kiwanis’ Fiesta Pancake Breakfast. Also, he helped establish the Dyslexia Awareness Resource Center, the Area Agency on Aging, WORK, Inc., Senior Day Care Center, Pilgrim Terrace, the Terri Toon Memorial Fund & the University Religious Center. He saved a building scheduled for demolition & led volunteers to renovate it, creating Harmony House, a new home for many non-profits. Sid served on the Santa Barbara City Council from 1981 to 1989, not as a politician but as a businessman who loved Santa Barbara. He was involved in getting the Dolphin Fountain installed at Stearns Wharf, establishing the Easy Lift program, securing the Wilcox property for hikers & dog walkers, & many other worthwhile projects. He was named Santa Barbara Man of the Year, received an Honorary Doctorate from Westmont College, received Santa Barbara News Press’ Lifetime Achievement Award, & even wrote a book, “101 Questions to Ask Before Saying Yes to Marriage”, which was published in 6 languages. He taught Adult Education courses on this topic as well as on “Gerontology” and “Volunteerism.” He also sponsored a girls softball team, the “Hittin’ Misses”, on which both his daughters played. Sid was famous for his handmade birthday and Christmas cards, homemade Halloween costumes, giving friends and visitors “50 cent” scenic tours of Santa Barbara, going to Foster Freeze with his children after church, leading church children in singing “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” being generous to people in need, and always having a variety of band aids in his wallet in case anyone needed one. Sid was interested in people’s stories, and nearly every conversation included the question “What can I do for you today?” His life was spent taking action on each person’s response to this question, and it was our joy and honor to have known this generous and caring man, who we will truly miss. Members of Sid’s immediate family that he leaves behind are his wife of 16 years, Madeline, his daughter Cathy Haas of Salinas and his daughter and son-in-law, Carol and Vince Schlerf of Santa Barbara. His first wife Millie and his son Steve pre-deceased him. A celebration of Sid’s life will be held at the First United Methodist Church, 305 E. Anapamu St. at 2:00 p.m., on Saturday, June 16. Whether or not you will attend, we invite you to write a “Sid Smith’s impact on my life” story and send it to the church, for inclusion in a memory album. We know he positively influence the lives of many people we’ve never met. Gifts can be made in Sid’s memory to the Sid Smith KIWINS Award Fund, 8360 Red Oak St. #201, Rancho Cucamunga, CA 91730, or the First United Methodist Church’s Music Fund, 305 E. Anapamu St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101.
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