Deceased retired professor leaves admirers

Kaitlin R. Greenockle, News Editor

Retired Pitt-Johnstown professor William Smith, 73, of Johnstown died Aug. 21, at Rosewood Personal Care Home in Johnstown.

Smith taught political science at Pitt-Johnstown for about 15 years. He specialized in American politics and elections. As well as, Congress and the presidency. He was also well informed on national and state politics, according to professor James Alexander.

When Smith retired due to medical reasons, professor Raymond Wrabley took his place.

“I got to know him years later … he would call me to talk about politics,” said Wrabley.

Smith’s students would often learn much more by talking with him outside of the classroom setting, according to Alexander.

“He was a nice guy who had all the time in the world for his students,” said Alexander.

After Smith retired, he would still visit campus when he could and was interested to see how his students were doing, according to Alexander.

Wrabley described Smith as a soft-spoken, gentle and funny man.

“I know he would have wanted to continue teaching if he could,” said Wrabley.

One of Alexander’s fond memories involving Smith was when Smith invited faculty colleagues for cookouts.

Smith was born Sept. 4, 1941 and was married to Elizabeth Smith for 46 years. His living relatives include his daughter, Christine Parks, and her husband, along with three grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and two sisters.