Reginald Edward Smith, Sr., lovingly known as Pop Pop, Guppy, and Reggie, died on July 2, 2021 from a heart attack.
Reggie was born on January 24, 1956, in Bethesda, Maryland. He attended Olney Elementary School, was a student in Farquhar Middle School’s inaugural class, and graduated from Sherwood High School where he played football, baseball, and basketball. He was admitted to Sherwood’s Hall of Fame in 2017. After high school, he served in the United States Army from 1974 to 1976. He later attended college in California and Maryland.
In 1982, Reggie married Karen Zedella. They lived in Gaithersburg and Derwood, Maryland where they raised four children, Daphne, Debra, Reggie, Jr., and Vanessa. At times, he worked two jobs to support his family, while taking night classes at the University of Maryland. As his children grew up, Reggie attended every theater performance, softball, basketball, baseball game, and wrestling match. He often coached the teams his children played on. He travelled near and far for graduations, boxing matches, and art shows.
His love, devotion, and teaching was not limited to his own children. Reggie worked in the Montgomery County Public School System for more than 25 years, including RICA, and, most importantly, the Muncaster Challenge Program, where he forever changed the lives of some of this area’s troubled youth.
As his children grew older, his devotion expanded yet again, now to include his 11 “grandbabies” -- Sienna, Jasmine, Haley, Rachel, Kiersten, Sophia, Elodie, Charlotte (“Charlie”), Olivia, Scarlett (“Cha Cha”), and his namesake, Reginald Edward Smith, III (“Trey”). When he wasn’t holding his grandbabies or on the sidelines of soccer matches, track meets, basketball games, and ballet recitals, you could find him volunteering at the Sandy Spring Slave Museum, on the golf course, serving lunch for the seniors at the Ross Boddy center, riding around town with Uncle Joe, asking Aunt Ting for a plate of food, or visiting with friends like his Cali brother, Earl and his wife Ruby.
The best word to describe Reggie was “generous.” He was generous with his time, his energy, his love, and his support (whether financial or otherwise). He was always there for not only his children and grandchildren, but his nieces, nephews, siblings, and friends. He would give you the last dollar in his pocket, the food off of his plate (especially if it was a vegetable), or the shirt off of his back (unless it was one of his many pop pop shirts).
He is survived by his children -- Daphne Williams, Debra Belott (Patrick), Reginald Smith, Jr. (Sara), and Vanessa Smith; his grandbabies -- Sienna, Jasmine, Haley, Rachel, Kiersten, Sophia, Elodie, Charlotte, Olivia, Scarlett, and Reggie, III; his siblings -- Connie Williams, Audrey Bishop, Charles ‘Pickle’ Smith (Corinthia), Jeffrey Smith (Dena), Deborah Buchanan, Kirk Smith (Martha), George Smith (Tracey), and Michael Smith (Jennifer); his “siblings” -- Keith Smith (Debbie) and Greg Williams; his many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins; his golf buddies; and a countless number of friends and students who were forever changed by his smile, generosity, and spirit. He was predeceased by his parents, Charles ‘Tank’ and Phyllis Smith, his sister Brenda Bailey, and his brother Kevin Smith.
If you would like to share a memory with Guppy’s family or include one in the funeral program, please email it to ReginaldEdwardSmithSrMemorial@gmail.com.
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