People from the outside called him the “dean of
secondary school educators in NJ” and “a living legend” known
for “distinguished educational leadership and public service,” but
Dr. Smith’s influence was not confined to
Dr. Smith’s talents and passions did not end with his many extensive collections, however. He was also a compelling storyteller and a highly sought-after public speaker. Deeply committed to his faith, he was active in his church as well as in numerous academic and service organizations and the Masonic community, which had granted him the venerated 33rd degree. Above all, he was devoted to his family and his “boys.” Although recognition came during his life in various forms, including receipt of three honorary doctoral degrees, his greatest rewards were derived from the students whose lives he helped mold. “The career of a schoolmaster has not been for me an easy life,” he once wrote. “But…the constant satisfaction of seeing many young people grow in achievement and, subsequently, into mature strength and good citizenship, makes me feel beyond any doubt that if I had to do it all over again, I would still be a schoolmaster.” He believed that “happiness comes when you know that the best attributes of your heart and mind can go on living in your pupils long after you are dead.” He must have found happiness, for his spirit permeates the lives of hundreds of productive, upstanding, caring, and grateful graduates.
Jeanette Smith Cureton, granddaughter
Eulogy at the Memorial Service
DR. HAROLD MORRISON SMITH
First Baptist Church of Bordentown
This morning as I was trying to get my thoughts in order, I gradually came to the conclusion that I would come here today to participate in an act of audacity. Audacity, because it is audacious in the extreme for me, Eugene Guazzo, M.D., sometime country doctor, one time student at Bordentown, to have the temerity to say a few words about the life of Harold Morrison Smith.
I am reminded of a chapel talk by Dean Smith some twenty-five years ago in which he admonished us to do those things which we fear. In so doing, whether we won or failed, he said we would build character. I listened to him that day, wrestling with an urge and a fear. I wanted to enter the annual forensic competitions but was scared. I had never spoken before people; I was terrified at the thought. But I did what he said to do and won top honors. Later, when I proudly walked to the podium to accept the Isaac Barclay Thorn medal, I wondered if he knew that he was talking to me that day in the chapel. Of course, he was talking to us all.
He said one time, "Gene, no matter who you are, where you are, what you are, always be mindful of what you say and the manner in which you behave because everyone to someone is a beacon."
Harold Morrison Smith was my beacon. I say this unabashedly. Now, in one sense, his light is out. But until my beacon is out, his is the light that I shall always remember and by which I shall be guided.
Dean Smith, thank God I said it to you while you were alive. And now I say it to you again. Thank you for that light; thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Eugene Guazzo, M.D.
Class of 1947
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