We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Tulocay Cemetery Funeral Home & Crematory
Rev. Dr. Roger Kennedy Smith, Ph.D, died on August 9, 2021 in his home
at The Meadows of Napa Valley in Napa, California at the age of 90.
Roger was born in Forest Grove, Oregon in 1931 to LeRoy and Reatha
(Parcel) Smith. His family moved to the hills of Berkeley, California,
where as a boy he could see the Treasure Island Golden Gate World’s Fair
in the distance from his bedroom window. While in Boy Scouts, he served
as an usher for the first United Nations Conference on International
Organization held in San Francisco, from April to June 1945. While in
High School he enjoyed being part of an unauthorized, crystal-set radio
station, which only had enough power to broadcast after sunset. Roger
moved back to Forest Grove, to attend Pacific University graduating with
a B.A. in Sociology in 1953.
The year before graduation, Roger met his future wife, Margaret Acton,
while they were both working with The American Friends Service Committee
at the Oregon State Mental Hospital in Salem, Oregon, in the days later
made famous as the location for the movie of Ken Kesey’s “One Flew Over
the Cuckoo's Nest.” Roger and Margaret were married in Salem, after both
had graduated from their colleges, in June of 1953. The couple moved to
Berkeley, while Roger attended The Pacific School of Religion,
graduating with a B.A. in Pastoral Psychology in 1956.
The family then moved to Cedarville, California. Roger was ordained into
the Christian ministry by the Northern California Conference of the
Congregational Church. He served the Larger Parish of Modoc County,
California. Every Sunday, Roger would hold a worship service in each of
the four towns of Cedarville, Eagleville, Fort Bidwell, and Likely. It
was a 190 mile round trip!
Roger moved from Cedarville to serve in Sunol, California, and then in
San Carlos, California. While in San Carlos, he traveled to Selma to
help get people in place for the 1965 Voting Rights March from Selma to
Montgomery, Alabama. Roger’s next posting was in Woodside, California
where he began serving in youth ministry. He created many opportunities
for youth to explore the world and to be in service for a greater good.
Each year he led a week-long summer backpacking trip for youth into the
high mountains, and also a late winter ski trip weekend to Squaw Valley.
He organized youth work trips to the California State Mental Hospitals
in Sonoma and Ukiah, and led the local United Church of Christ annual
youth summer camp at Camp Cazadero. Roger created “The Shire,” a weekly
coffee-house style gathering for youth in the church's Community Hall
that included live music and a light show. The Shire was occasionally
visited by the members of The Grateful Dead, and some said that Roger’s
light show was better than at the Fillmore in San Francisco.
Withdrawing from active ministry, Roger received his Marriage, Family
and Child Counselor license from the State of California. He earned his
Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Clinical
Psychology in 1977. Roger started his psychotherapy practice in Portola
Valley, California. He was a certified hypnotherapist trained in
Transactional Analysis Family Therapy and at the Gestalt Institute of
San Francisco. He served on the Board of Directors for the following
non-profit organizations: Mental Research Institute of Palo Alto; The
Emergency Treatment Center of Santa Clara County; Planned Parenthood of
San Mateo County; and the Peninsula Association for Retarded Children
and Adults. Roger was Clinical Director for the Sanctuary Pastoral
Counseling Service at Stanford University Hospital Chaplaincy Services.
He served on the Citizens Advisory Council, Region IV, San Mateo County
Mental Health Services.
Roger was called back into the ministry as the Pastor of the Woodside
Village Church, where among other duties, he performed many joyous
weddings. In 1991, Roger retired from the Woodside Village Church after
25 years of service. In 1997 he was named Pastor Emeritus of the
Woodside Village Church. He continued his practice as a Marriage and
Family Therapist until 2008.
In retirement, Roger enjoyed serving on the Wedding Ministry of the
Portola Valley Presbyterian Church. Roger’s hobbies were many. As a
photographer, he took candid photos of people, landscapes and the
Elementary School’s end of year plays. He was an early adapter to
computers, on line publishing, and web page creation. He loved
publishing and editing. In 1994, he worked with a small company called
Amazon to sell books online. With a lifelong passion for theatrical
performance, Roger attended countless plays, shows and operas. He
especially loved Shakespeare, and was proud of seeing all of the Bard’s
plays performed at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon.
He was a man of many creative talents and insights, an innovator, a
handyman, a craftsman, a computer user and a photographer. Roger had a
quick good humor and was a compassionate listener, a great husband and
father. In 2013 both Roger and Margaret retired to live in The Meadows
of Napa Valley, Napa, California
Roger is survived by his wife of 68 years, Margaret Acton Smith, his
brother Myron (Jann, deceased) Smith, his sons Mark (Eileen) Smith, Ray
(Kahndi) Smith and his grandson Ryan Smith. He was preceded in death by
his grandson Reid Smith. He was buried in The Cayetano Natural Burial
Ground in Tulocay Cemetery in Napa, California. Roger Smith will be missed.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Friends