Obituary of Lawrence Smith
Lawrence Gerard Smith III of Windham, NY, left this Earth on September 8, 2018 at the age of 59, with his sleeping daughters by his side. Growing up in Greenville, NY as one of six boisterous children, Larry was a scrappy, persistent and eternally optimistic individual whose strength and bravery wavered not once through the course of his illness and final days. His integrity and commitment to justice were fostered through his experience as a Boy and ultimately Eagle Scout, and he continued to carry those values with him as he travelled the Southwest and Pacific Coast as a young man, embarking on both physical and personal adventures as he explored himself and those around him.
After graduating from Greenville High School in 1977, Larry attended Herkimer County Community College and graduated from the University of Arizona in 1981 with his B.A. in broadcasting. During his time in college, Larry developed a deep appreciation for social justice, critical thinking and open debate. His love of skiing, surfing, biking, kayaking and hiking next brought him to Colorado and California before returning to Windham, NY in 1986, where he met and married Jennifer Yezzi.
After marrying, Larry and Jennifer settled in Columbia County with their daughters, McKenzie and Michaela. Of all his accomplishments, nothing came more naturally to Larry than fatherhood – he listened to, encouraged and celebrated his daughters every day in a way that never made them feel anything less than adored.
Larry was an exceptionally hard-working person who began his successful landscaping business, Stonesmith Landscapes, in 1990, combining his love of the outdoors with his artistic talent and individuality. It is a joy that the natural beauty of the Northern Catskills and Hudson Valley were further enriched by the many stone walls, staircases and archways he built by hand, which will continue to endure for decades.
He is predeceased by his parents, Lawrence Smith Jr. and Therese Smith, and survived by his loving mother, Joan Smith, daughters, McKenzie Yezzi and Michaela Smith, mother of his children, Jennifer Yezzi, partner, Ann O'Hara, siblings Judy Wickham (Ron), Neil Baumann (Robin), Kelly Slean (Kevin), Stephanie DeVillers (David), Beth Ann Atcavage (Ron), granddaughter, Gioia Yezzi, and grandson on the way, as well as many other family and friends who treasured and admired him.
Larry was a colorful, complex, beloved person who never stopped learning from those around him or seeking out new adventures. We hope that he is continuing to explore the vast waves and slopes of the majestic universe, and that someday he will share with us what he has learned. In lieu of flowers, please honor his memory and passion for the natural world by donating to the Windham Area Recreation Foundation (http://windhamarf.org/donate/) or the Boy Scouts of America.
A memorial celebrating his enthusiastic, vibrant life will be held at Vince Anna's Restaurant, 160 Creamery Rd, Greenville, NY 12083 on Saturday, September 29th from 1 – 4pm. Condolences can be posted at ajcunninghamfh.com.
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