William "Rocky" Smith
Class of 1968
PORTSMOUTH – William “Rocky” Smith, 58, a resident of Baldwin Ave. for many years, passed away Sunday, April 13, 2008 in Suffolk. A native of Meridian, Mississippi, he was a retired paint contractor and was a member of Fairview Heights Baptist Church.
Survivors include his wife, Dorothy P. Smith; his mother, Freda Nelson Smith of Portsmouth; a step-daughter Karen Fatich and husband Jason of Moyock, NC; a step-son Kasey Kazakavich and wife Robin of Harrisburg, PA; a sister Susan Gaddy and husband Bill of Ladson, SC; a brother Steve Smith of Portsmouth; three grandchildren, Rachel, Jake and Sam; and a niece Kim Underwood. His father, William E. Smith, preceded him in death.
A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 16, in Sturtevant Funeral Home, Portsmouth Blvd. Chapel by Dr. Ted Barton.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society. The family would like to extend a special thanks to Rocky’s caregiver, Janice Hunter, for her love and support.
In remembrance of a fallen Admiral on April 13, 2008.
William “Rocky” Smith, fallen Admiral, Class of “68”
I remember the day that Rocky came into the band. The Beatles had already made it big, along with the Bee Gees, and the Rolling Stones to only name a few but then there were the Animals with Eric Burden and "The House of the Rising Sun". Every young band would at least attempt to learn this old tune.
That morning we were waiting for our “soon to be let go” lead vocalist to arrive so that we could get on with our rehearsal. We had already practiced all of our instrumentals and we needed a singer to continue on. Stevie (Steve) Smith had brought along his older brother Rocky. We asked Rocky would he mind singing the lyrics to the “House of the Rising Sun” so we could get on with the practice while we waited for our late arriving “soon to be gone” lead singer. Rocky did sing, and now you’ve heard “the rest of the story”. It was like Eric Burden was right there in that old “playroom” above my dad’s garage and from that day forward it was never any question that Rocky was our lead vocalist. Even our late arriving “released” lead vocalist knew Rocky deserved the spot that he had once occupied. Rocky had been given a gift and God had lent him and this gift to our young band.
I now play and sing for God and now days I want to be like Jesus not the Beatles. But both God and Jesus know how much I will always treasure those good old days with Rocky and the other never forgotten guys that made up that little family, way back then “The Sound Effects”. I miss those days Rocky and I miss you and I’m sorry I didn’t take the time to go back and visit with you over the years. But Rocky I know we’ll meet again and this time we’ll do it right and together we’ll praise the Lord for eternity……Amen.
My most heart felt condolences go out to Rocky's Mom, to his wife, his children and their family, to Susan, Steve and their family and all of Rocky's many friends. In Christ,