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Paul Reynolds Smith

Born: Thu., Jul. 12, 1928
Died: Thu., Mar. 28, 2019


Memorial Service

2:00 PM Sat., May 18, 2019
Location: Radnor Friends (Quaker) Meeting


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Music by The Piano Brothers


Paul, age 90, a lifelong resident of the Philadelphia area, died on Thursday, March 28, 2019, at Paoli Hospital. He was born on July 12, 1928, to Eleanor Minors and H. Royer Smith, founder of a prominent Philadelphia radio, records and television store. He is survived by his son, Paul Cuyler Smith (Courtney), his nephews, H. Royer Smith III of Germantown and Llewellyn Paul Smith of Stamford, CT, and his wife, Elizabeth Griffith-Smith. He was predeceased by his sister, Mary Katherine Smith, his brother, H. Royer Smith, Jr., his first wife, Marion Jane Drucker, and their son, Mark Prosser Smith, and daughter, Elena Mynors.

Paul attended Haverford Township public schools, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Haverford College in 1950. His first job was Personnel Officer at Presbyterian Hospital in Philadelphia. Three years later he moved to Philadelphia Blue Cross, working in enrollment and staff relations. He was involved in implementing the first Medicare provisions at area hospitals and extended care facilities.

In 1965, after marrying his first wife, Paul began night law school at Temple University. After obtaining his law degree in 1969, he became an associate at Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads, a prominent Philadelphia law firm. Several years later, he left the firm and bought a 67-unit garden apartment building, the Fairmount, in West Mount Airy. In addition to managing the complex, he devoted hundreds of hours there improving the safety and modernizing the complex himself until 1986 when he sold it and retired.

The family joined Radnor Monthly Meeting of the Society of Friends in 1978. He was Treasurer of the Meeting for several years, and served six years as Treasurer of Friends School Haverford, 1983-1989. He was appointed Acting Principal there twice. Later he was asked to serve as Treasurer of Delaware Valley Friends School for five years.

In the early 1990’s Paul became active in the administration of the Phi Beta Kappa chapter at Haverford College.  He served first as Treasurer and later as President for six years.  During his tenure, the chapter rewrote its constitution and by-laws, updated membership, revised the selection process, and led its first capital fund drive.

Paul transferred to Haverford Monthly Meeting where he founded the Planning Committee and helped to raise funds to improve the property and plan for the Meeting’s future. He married his second wife, Betsy, in 2003 at Radnor Monthly Meeting.  Later he transferred his membership back to Radnor Meeting where he remained an active member until his death.

Paul’s lifelong passion was working with his hands.  His earliest experience occurred one summer working as a trackman for the Pennsylvania Railroad. He continued this avocation throughout his life, learning all the skills necessary to maintain two apartments in Philadelphia, the complex he owned, and his family house in Wayne.  His talents included all manner of repairs and improvements: electrical, plumbing, stone and brickwork, carpentry, painting, papering, and landscaping. He volunteered these skills frequently to the community.

A memorial service will be held on May 18, 2019, beginning at 2 PM at Radnor Friends (Quaker) Meeting, 610 Conestoga Road, Villanova. In lieu of flowers, the family prefers contributions to be made in his name to Haverford College, 370 Lancaster Avenue, Haverford, PA 19041.

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