Jack Lee Smith, 79, of Bridgeport, passed away Monday morning, March 26, 2018, in the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center. He was born in Mt. Clare on February 14, 1939, with the name of Melvin Sanford Jones, and placed in the former Sacred Heart Orphanage. Before he was one year old, he was taken into foster care by the late George Lee and Goldie G. Coffindaffer Smith, who adopted him at the age of 4 and changed his name.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 47 years, Ruth Ann Smith, in 2005.
He is survived by J. Paul Smith and his wife Pamela, West Milford; two grandchildren, Darla K. Smith, Clarksburg, and P. David Smith, Fairmont; and several nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his ex-wife and friend, Peggy Minear.
In addition to his wife and parents, he was preceded in death by a sister, Janie Berger, and a half-brother, Harry L. Smith.
Jack was a graduate of Unidis High School, Class of 1957, where he excelled in football and basketball. Upon graduation he started his newspaper journey with the Clarksburg Exponent-Telegram. He served in the US Army with the Military Police from 1961 – 64, where he worked in confinement processing prisoners in and out and reading mail to and from inmates of the federal Army prison at Ft. Leavenworth. Upon his discharge, he worked briefly at the Courier in Madison, IN, and then three years at the Leader in Staunton, VA. He returned to the Clarksburg Exponent-Telegram in 1967 and was named Retail Advertising Manager in 1973. He retired from Clarksburg Publishing Company in 1998 after 35 years of service.
He had many friends throughout the United States in the newspaper and advertising agencies. He served two years as President of Advertising Division for the WV Press Association. He was an avid reader of the newspaper, reading at least two newspapers every day. He was active in the Greater Clarksburg Associates and was a Chamber of Commerce member. As a member of the International Advertising and Marketing Managers Association he attended many meetings throughout the country.
He was a former member of E.C. Church and the Clarksburg Baptist Church, and currently was a member of Bridgeport Baptist Church. He had attended the Church of God while living in Florida. He enjoyed studying the Bible and loved the fellowship and discussing the Bible among believers. He also enjoyed attending Southern Gospel Singing events. He loved history and acquired a great knowledge about the history of Clarksburg.
Friends will be received at Burnside Funeral Home, 607 S. Virginia Avenue, Bridgeport, from 11 a.m. – 12 Noon on Thursday, March 29, 2018, where services will be held at 12 Noon with Pastor Leonard Ludwick presiding. Interment will be private in Bridgeport Cemetery.