Roscoe Smith, Sr. was born on September 27, 1963, the fifth child of Grady W. and Emma Elizabeth Smith in Middletown, Ohio. From infancy to adulthood, Roscoe possessed an even-tempered nature, infectious smile, and jovial laugh. Roscoe was educated in the Public Schools of Middletown, Ohio. Roscoe graduated from Middletown High School and was a member of the wrestling and tennis teams. He also attended D. Russell Lee Vocational and Technical School, where he trained and earned a certification in Metal Fabrication and Welding.
Roscoe was called to serve his country as a member of the United States Navy in September 1984. Following his recruitment as a Seaman, and completion of basic training, he was stationed on the USS Mt. Whitney LCC20 in Norfolk, Virginia. During his time in the Navy, he received an award for Meritorious Attention to Duty, Self-Sacrifice and Exemplary Conduct as 1st Squad Leader. He was promoted to Petty Officer 3rd Class and sub-sequently to Petty Officer 2nd Class. Roscoe was a qualified helmsman, a marksman, and participated in the International Naval Review July 4, 1986, in New York City in honor of the Centennial Anniversary of the Statue of Liberty. Upon completion of his active duty, Roscoe transferred to the Navy Reserves. Roscoe ended his military career with an Honorable Discharge in January 1990.
Roscoe worked for AK Steel for nearly 23 years as a steelworker, crane operator, and train driver before a serious illness, thought to be fatal, left him unable to continue in his profession in 2010. When the physicians depleted their medical and scientific knowledge of how to treat the illness, Jesus Christ stepped in at the last hour and performed a miracle. God removed the disease from his body and memory of the disease from his mind. For 10 post hospitalization years, Roscoe served the Lord with gladness and boldness. Roscoe was a member of the Administration Board of the Church. He served as an usher, community service usher, and was ordained a Deacon in June 2016. He performed in dramatic plays, kept the grounds of the church, and served the house of God in any capacity as needed. Roscoe LOVED the LORD and was NEVER afraid to demonstrate it through worship, praise, testimony or servitude.
Roscoe met the love of his life and ultimate best friend, who later became his wife of 28 years, Teresa Yates, in Allentown, Pennsylvania, over the Thanksgiving Holiday of 1988, while on leave. They were married February 14, 1992. Together they enjoyed parenthood, church, little league, scouting, PTA, Room Parenting at school, family vacations, camping, cheering Roscoe II on from the bleachers as he played football, baseball and basketball. In April 1998, they received a “precious gift from God”, their daughter, Amari Imani Smith. Roscoe had a huge heart and opened it to others. Roscoe and Teresa prayerfully accepted the role of godparents to Brionna Brown in 2005. He and his wife became the custodial guardians of protégées, Ive’ and Shadaya Berry in 2011. Roscoe was a responsible, attentive, nurturing role-model who could be found tutoring his children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews or cheering for them on the sidelines. Together, Roscoe and Teresa provided a strong foundation and spiritual background to their children using the five essential elements of responsible behavior — honesty, compassion/respect, fairness, accountability and courage combined with faith in God.
Roscoe’s legacy of faith and servitude continues on with his wife of 28 years, Teresa Smith (Yates); their son, Roscoe II (Latoria) of Kinston, North Carolina and daughter, Amari Imani of Fairfield; six grandchildren, Christian Carson Cornett, Sha’Myah Brown, Roscoe III, Rosc’Zierah, Ariel and Annastasia; two protégées, Ive’ Berry and Shadaya Berry; the unbreakable foundation for his faith, his mother, Emma Elizabeth Smith; beams of support, siblings, Minister Ellen Myers (William) of Monroe, Ohio, Pastor Elder Roger Smith (JoAnn), Grady Richard (Cheryl), Frankie, Andrew and Pastor Matthew Smith, all of Middletown, Ohio; a host of aunts, uncles, special nephews, nieces, cousins, in-laws, friends, church family, former coworkers, military comrades and neighbors complete his legacy.
Roscoe is and will truly be missed. His smile, laughter and overall countenance was refreshing and just what the Lord ordered. Devoted child of God, husband, father, son, brother, friend, comrade, neighbor…Deacon Roscoe, “well done, thy good and faithful servant.”
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