Melvin Smith Sr. a/k/a “Light Bottom”, was born on July 28, 1938 to the late Martha Smith and LeRoy Blackwell. He transitioned this earthly life to be eternally present with the Lord on Thursday, July 16, 2020 at Commonwealth Senior Living in Portsmouth, VA.
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Melvin was educated in the Norfolk Public School system and graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in 1958. There he earned the nick name, “Light Bottom” while flaunting his light footwork as a member of the football team. He also played with the American football franchise based in Norfolk Virginia, known as the “Norfolk Neptunes.” Melvin attended Norfolk State University and was employed by the Stop Organization. He later fulfilled his true calling by helping underprivileged children and mentally challenged adults. He retired as a Mental Health Counselor from the City of Chesapeake in 1997. As an excellent provider for his family with a strong work ethic, he also earned the reputation as one of the best bartenders in Hampton Roads. He rendered services for private functions at local hospitals, weddings, special events and evening entertainment venues.
They say “love is a many, splendid thing,” and for Melvin, God proved it to be true. He married his sweetheart Marsha Stover Smith and from this union, were born three children, Melvin Smith, Jr. (deceased), Kermit Smith and Ronald Smith.
Melvin became a faithful servant at First Calvary Baptist Church in the 1950’s and served on the Young Adult and Men of Faith Choirs. He was a long time Mason of the Rising Sun.
Melvin was preceded in death by his parents, Martha Smith and LeRoy Blackwell; his maternal grandmother, Elnora Marten Smith who raised him from an early age; son, Melvin Smith Jr. and childhood friend, Fred Phillips “Bucky Beaver.”
Melvin leaves to cherish his fond memories, his devoted wife of 60 years, Marsha Stover Smith, Virginia, Beach, VA; two sons, Kermit (Rosemary) Smith, Virginia Beach, VA; Ronald (Kimberly) Smith, Suffolk, VA; one daughter, Brenda Diggs-Etheridge, Norfolk, VA; one brother, Bernard Smith, Richmond, VA; two step-brothers, Jimmie Hammond and Robert Hammond, Norfolk, VA; one step-sister, Hannah Hammond, Brooklyn, NY; six grandchildren, Ronald Smith Jr., Veronica Smith, Annitra Smith, Kermit Diggs and Jameel Perkins; six great grandchildren; one sister -n-law, Barbara Stover McIntyre; one brother-n-law, James C. Stover, a childhood friend, Ralston McInnis “ Speedy” and a host of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.