Edward "Ed" Royce Smith
December 30, 1942 – January 12, 2020
Ed R. Smith (Edward Royce, Eddie)
Ed Smith was a dedicated Husband, Father, and “Papa” who always found more pleasure in giving than receiving. There isn’t a single individual on the planet who loved his family more. A real humanist, Ed always saw the goodness in others; believing in the value each one of us possess. He approached all of life's problems with a level headedness to be admired, and would always seek to help his family, for which he was very proud, with their day-to-day challenges.
An avid reader and lover of politics, he started his mornings reading the paper cover-to-cover so he was up to date on the news of the day. He also loved completing the New York Times crossword puzzle; particularly enjoying the end of the week as the puzzle gets harder. With a background in English Literature, he occasionally submitted editorials to the Oregonian that were always published (he claimed to have a perfect record.) He surrounded himself with an impressive library of both books and cinema and enjoyed discussing their stories with family and friends; his personal collection from The Library of America alone could be applauded. A Mensa member with an IQ in the top one percent of the population, Ed really was a literal genius. He never, however, belittled those with whom he spoke and could ignite interest in all topics of discussion. An exceptional intellectual, his preferred method of communication was through compassion and kindness. Ed’s erudition of language served to communicate his thoughts of moral concern, and while speaking and writing he always championed for the underdog and their basic human rights. A diehard liberal democratic socialist, Ed could often be heard explaining the incompetencies of politicians placed in office, stating “Democracy, although a risky and often messy form of government, is far preferable to a system that limits the choices of the populace.”
Ed was a funny and playful guy. No matter how serious the conversation, he was able to solicit a joke or a pun that would bring smiles and laughter. He adored playing with the kids and entertaining friends; often leaving a group declaring his signature departing phrase,“Glad you got to see me!”
Ed loved to travel and emphatically shared that love with his family; taking them all over the world to experience a multitude of cultures first hand. As a liberal educator, Ed refused to believe that learning should be limited to the confines of a classroom. While traveling, it was he who would insist on staying where the locals lived. He was fascinated with witnessing others' way of life and taught his children to honor and respect them equally. Ed believed that learning the culture and background of people helped in his ability to relate, and therefore did trips as an educator to Oaxaca, Mexico to be better able to advocate for his Spanish speaking students as an Administrator for the Reynolds School District. Once retired, Ed and his wife, Jan, frequently traveled internationally.
Having worked 43 years in the field of education, Ed embodied everything it was to serve as an educator. Having gone from High School Teacher to Principal to Central Administrator and then to Elementary School Principal, not only did Ed truly enjoy teaching others, but he also genuinely loved surrounding himself with eager, young minds. He would often go above and beyond for his pupils. Not because he felt obligated, but because he truly loved every one of his “kids.” Ed shared his passion for education and was solicited to speak at several educational conferences presenting the keynote address at different conferences all across the United States. Ed was awarded the Oregon Association of Central Office Administrators Achievement of Excellence Award in 2006.
Ed also had an exceptional palate; his passion for cooking and love of food seemed to never be quite satiated. His devotion for creating complex dishes knew no bounds as it was his favorite craft to share. He could often be found in his kitchen, “cookin’ up a storm” as he would say. All whom were lucky enough to dine on his cuisine held his food in high regard. Every holiday it was not uncommon to enjoy carefully constructed multiple course meals, all cooked from scratch by Ed. Often including at least three different homemade pies. Ed could bake, cook, and grill a meal fit for a king. He’d tell you “it’s simple enough”, but you’d never find his recipe as he never really had one; making it up as he went, guided by his taste buds.
He was a treasure, a true gem that was highly valued by all who met and interacted with him. Loved and admired by many; he will be greatly missed. Ed is survived by his wife of 35 years Jan Engels-Smith, his eldest daughter Alexandria Engels-Smith along with her children (Cohen, and twins Miro & Jocelyn), and his twins: son Grayson Engels-Smith and daughter Lauren Finley. He is also survived by his twin sister, Betty Smith in Texas.
His Celebration of Life will be February 16th in Gresham, OR. To be in attendance, please reach out to Jan (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information regarding time and location [before February 7th.]
In lieu of flowers, please send donations in his honor* to:
Oregon Public Broadcasting / NPR
Democratic National Committee
(*Please indicate in the comments sections that this gift is In Honor of / In Memory of Ed Smith)
See below for donation links.
No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Edward "Ed" Royce Smith
January 20, 2020
Ed was the principal at Salish Ponds Elementary where I worked in the office. He came in every morning with a smile and ready to get the day started. He loved the students and stopped to speak to everyone of them and was always available if there was a problem. It was a privilege to work with him. My condolences to his family...he was a great boss and wonderful person who left many good memories at RSD.
January 18, 2020
My sincere condolences to the family. May God wrap his arms around you, give you peace and comfort you all during this most difficult time. My thoughts and prayers are with you.