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Joseph Robert Smith

Joseph Robert Smith – age 87 of Clearwater, Florida.

What a glorious day, July 13th 2022, when Joseph Robert Smith was welcomed into the loving arms of his Savior Jesus Christ.  Joe was born in Baltimore, Maryland on March 24,1935.  At the age of 18 he joined the United States Air Force and was stationed at McDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida.

On Clearwater Beach he met the love of his life – Jeannine Bowers.  In 1956 they married and started a family.  Joe and Jeannine were married at First United Methodist Church, Turner Street in Clearwater. They were also members of Harvest Temple Church of God (Largo, Florida) and First Baptist Church (Maggie Valley, North Carolina). Joe loved serving the Lord with his church families.

Faith and family was unquestionably the centerpiece of Joe’s life. He was enthusiastic about his faith; sharing it with everyone. Regardless of where Joe was, he took any and every opportunity to share the good news of Jesus Christ and the Salvation He brings.  Joe is remembered for his humility, generosity, quick-witted humor, and above all, love of Christ. His relationship with our Lord and Savior was interwoven throughout his life in his actions, words and love of people. He never met a stranger and never passed up the opportunity to strike up a conversation.

Joe coached Babe Ruth baseball at Sid Lickton and Carpenter Field in Clearwater for over 20 years. He loved coaching baseball. He was known as ‘Coach’ by players and fans alike. He was cheered by the Clearwater fans but not so much by opponents especially in Plant City, Deland and Ft. Myers!  His knowledge of the game and his appetite for good competition produced many victories and celebrations. As a coach he taught his players sportsmanship, hard work and respect for the game.  His relationship with the players was one of lifelong friendship and many still talk about the times they played for him and the life lessons they learned.

Joe retired in 1993 from Florida Power in Clearwater (Palmetto St. & Walsingham) where he worked for over 34 years. Joe loved and was dedicated to his job and still holds his Florida Power family near and dear.  Joe and Jeannine always looked forward to the Florida Power reunions where they caught up with old friends.  These were not just co-workers but the best of friends; providing friendship and support that continues to this day.  (Larry & Nancy Swope – friends for 63 years)

After retirement, for over 25 years, Joe and Jeannine spent their Summers and Falls in Maggie Valley, NC.  They were members of First Baptist Church where they worshiped and volunteered alongside their North Carolina community of faith. Joe was a volunteer phone operator for Billy Graham Evangelistic Association where he shared the Good News of Jesus Christ to those who called in to receive Salvation. Joe was also a multi-gallon blood donor.

Joe was a husband, father, “Papa”, friend and coach, but above all he was a servant to his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Today we can take comfort knowing that he’s rejoicing in heaven.

Joe leaves behind Jeannine his cherished wife of 66 years, his sons Paul and Pete (Caroline), Louisville, KY, and his two beautiful grandchildren, Ashley Jacqueline and Peter Joseph.

Joe was preceded in death by his parents Paul Benedict and Katherine Emma Smith, father and mother-in law, Alton and Alchia “Funny” Bowers , brother-in-law Alton “June” Bowers Jr., siblings Jean Marie, Catherine Smith-Lombardi, Buddy Smith and Frank Milton Smith.

Joe was Uncle to nephews and nieces from Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Texas, Hawaii and Australia:  Rick Bowers (Judy), Jim Bowers, Tom (Jan), Bertie Marie, Margie Graham (Gus), Anne King (Jim), Judy Lombardi (Carol), Mary Lou Kenny (Phillip), Paul Lombardi (Margie), Rhonda Smith-Sanchez (Scott), Eric Smith (Joanne) and Damian Smith (Kathleen).

Joe lived a great life and left us with wonderful memories of his lifetime filled with love, laughter, fun and faithfulness to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Good job, good and faithful servant.  You are forever in our hearts.


Visitation will be held at Veterans Funeral Care located at 830 N Belcher Rd, Clearwater on Thursday, July 21, 2022 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Friday 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m with the funeral service and USAF Flag Presentation starting at 2:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Joe’s name to your favorite Veterans Organization.

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