By Eddie R. Dillard
and Post Staff
Theodis “Ted” James Smith
Theodis “Ted” James Smith died in his sleep at home, Sunday Jan. 9 in Richmond. He was 80.
Born July 25, 1930, in Crossett Arkansas, he moved with his family to Richmond in 1942. He attended Richmond High School and served in the Army from 1952 – 1959.
With $5,000 in 1970, he established Smith’s Action Maintenance. His company employed more than 1,000 people to service contracts to clean military bases throughout the Bay Area. Smith also had a street sweeping business that contracted with Redwood City, Mountain View, Morgan Hill, Mill Valley, Sausalito, Ceres and other cities in Northern California.
Smith mentored many youth, especially in the Iron Triangle area of Richmond. He also adopted the Richmond Build pre-construction apprenticeship-training program and gave generous charitable contributions to numerous faith-based feeding programs.
“Ted was the type of man who reached back to help other people who were less fortunate than himself. He never forgot to give back to the Black community,” said Beverly Johnson, MCA, Contract Equity Administrator, and East Bay Municipal Water District.
He served on Richmond’s Human Rights Commission, Planning Commission and the Design Review Committee and was appointed to the Republican Party Central Committee in 1993.
Smith also served on the Richmond’s Economic Development Commission and was the first African American to be appointed to the Contra Costa Development Association, which is the county’s official Chamber of Commerce. “Ted was a friend to BAPAC and will be greatly missed by the community at large,” said Lloyd Madden, BAPAC president.
Smith leaves his family to mourn his life: his wife of 42 years Carolyn Smith; children, Melody Smith Cooper, Lydia Smith, Lee A Smith, Terry J. Smith, Robert D. Smith; his mother-in-law Novelen Harris; granddaughter Radience Smith; and a host of grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Services will be held on Thursday, Jan. 20, 11 a.m. at Hilltop Community Church off Highway 880 east. The quiet hour will be held Wednesday Jan. 19, from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. at Rose Manor Mortuary, 3331 McDonald Ave. in Richmond. The Last Court Hearing will be held Wednesday Jan. 19 at 3 p.m., 770 South 13th St. in Richmond. Cards, acknowledgements and contributions should be sent to Carolyn Smith, 401 Harbor Way South Richmond CA 94804.