May 28, 1947 ~ August 7, 2020
Born in: Waco, TX
Resided in: Akron, OH
On August 7, 2020 cradled in the arms of his beloved wife Charmaine Nicole, William “Rod” “Big Rod” Smith headed True North to his final port of call. To know him, no explanation is necessary, if you did not none would ever be possible.
William R. Rod “Roddy” Smith was born on May 28, 1947 in Waco Texas
Upon his return to Akron to live with his mother Dorothy, and his maternal grandparents Opa and Nonni Vander Linden, he spent his first years in West Akron living in the Firestone mansion gate house.
His family then moved to Green,/ Portage Lakes where he remained the rest of his life.
Big Rod attended Green high school where he excelled in track and field.
Upon graduation from high school, he left for Morehead University in Kentucky where he spent the next three years studying history. And what a history buff he was
He served in the Army Reserves stateside for 5 years.
He then applied to the Akron Police Department where he served the city as a traffic officer, founding member of the APD swat team, worked in the narcotics division , was one of the founders of APD’s rescue dive team , was a police Gold medal Olympian in power lifting finishing his career in robbery/homicide. He was featured on Cold Case files several times for his crime solving ability. His career spanned 32 years
During his career on the date of August 10, 1990 he met who was to be the love of his life, Charmaine (Nikster to Rod) Smith and their incredible love story spanned three decades.
They were inseparable and completely devoted to each other and their family during their 30 years together.
He finished he stellar career in 2002 and spent the rest of his life with his wife enjoying traveling, riding his harley davidson, scuba diving, enjoying the love of family and friends.
He loved hosting parties at his beautiful home with his wife and children always welcoming anyone and everyone who came to the door.
He had an amazlingly keen sense of art and design ,and was quite proud of designing the home that he and his family lived in.
.WRS #504 was a friend to everyone he met. He had charisma, class, charm and respect for each and every person he came in contact with. He had an uncanny ability to draw people close to him.
He had no enemies. He was gentle and kind. He was funny and you knew if Big Rod walked into a room, you were in for a good time. He lived his life to the fullest. As Rod would say he lived “large”
He was intensly proud of his two son’s Andrew and Joey who followed in his footsteps serving their respective cities of Akron Ohio APD and Bellvue Washington State PD on the swat team , detective bureau and motorcycle brigade. He was present at both of his boy’s swearing in, and pinning their badges on each of them respectively was one of the proudest days of his life.
Rod was preceded in death by his Opa and Nonni Vander Linden, and his father Merle Smith
He will be forever missed by his adoring wife,and his service dog Sammie Sweetheart
HIs mother Dorothy Vander Linden Smith and mother in-law Joann Letta
Michael (Paula) Lytz, Andrew (Melissa) Smith Stacey (Matt) Lambes Elisa (Jon) Pierson and Joseph (Maddie) S Smith
Pam (Joe) Barkley, Guy (Terri) Smith Cornelius (Linda) Smith
Keith (Mel) Mason Kitty (Paul) Graham, Kimberly (Ernie) Mason-Vansaw Linda (Bob) Kurczewski, Burt Mason, Brett Mason, David (Jody) Mason , Adam Mason (deceased)
His precious grandchildren
Anna, Caroline, Braden, Charlie, Cruz, Lucas, and Nora
Sisters and brother in law Michelle (DeVitis) Stephanie & Orlando Rodriguez
Many nieces and nephews & countless friends and family. Way too many to list.
Patti and Doc (Parks) Kilgore
Frank and Phyllis Zahler
Nancy and Larry Stott
Terri and Rick Mills
Jim and Ramona Hicks
My love is a tall ship
I watched helplessly from the rocky shore whilst a million tears flow down my cheek.
The cheeks my love so gently kissed
I tried with all my strength to pull my tall ship back to shore so that I might climb aboard just one more time and set sail for the next adventure
But alas, all I can do is watch as it drifted further and further into the abyss
I watched with love that pours forth with every beat of my broken heart
It continued to drift further and further away.
Love was not enough to battle the raging sea , and the swells are getting higher and higher
The salty sea washes away everything on deck
I sit alone on the shore and reminisce about the countless voyages I took with my tall ship
There are times that the fog and the mist cleared and I got a glimpse of my tall ship and hoped that it had turned it’s giant wheel True North to head back to me
But it does not
The sun is now setting giving way to a beautiful red sky which casts a calm glow upon this majestic ship
It was once so strong
We weathered every storm with strength , confidence, courage and endless love
But now I fear my tall ship my sweet love that I cannot join you on this final voyage
The sun has set, and I have lost sight of my tall ship in the darkness of the night
But you, and you alone my love will forever be the captain of my tall ship, the captain of my heart , my soul my very being
And faithfully and forever , I will be you’re first mate.
Sail away MiAmor’ to the Heavenly ports of call
I love you
Rod was a member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Chapel (Father Carley) and the FOP #7
Countless other charities
A special thank you to Serenity Hospice for their in home gentle care for my husband.
A graveside service will be held on Friday, August 14, 2020 at 1:30 PM at Holy Cross Akron, 100 East Waterloo Road. A procession to Holy Cross will form at Hummel Funeral Home 500 E. Exchange St. at 1 PM.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Akron FOP Lodge 7, 2610 Ley Dr, Akron, OH 44319 or Immaculate Heart of Mary Chapel, 2935 Chenoweth Ave Akron, OH. 44312.
View full obituary at HummelCares.com