Eugene Francis Smith was born on March 30, 1928 in Montclair, New Jersey. He transitioned on May 27, 2019 at the age of 91. He lived in Irvington, NJ, moving to Morris Township in 1994 before moving to Jackson, NJ.
He attended St. Antonius Grammar School and was a graduate of Irvington High School. He received a degree in business Administration from Rutgers University.
Gene served in the US Army and upon being honorably discharged as a Sergeant, obtained a full-time position with the headquarters 50th Armored Division, New Jersey Armored National Guard, governed by the department of Defense, State of New Jersey. During his 30 year career, he served as Secretary to ten Generals as the Personnel Sergeant on the General’s Staff. The last eighteen years of his tour of duty, he held the rank of Sergeant Major, and received many commendations. He was a charter member and first secretary of the Army and Air Force National Guard Association, which he helped form, and upon his discharge in 1983, was presented a lifetime membership award.
Upon his retirement, Gene opened and managed a New Jersey Branch, in Springfield, of Ward Travel Agency of New York. He also worked as a Tour Planner for “Visit Ireland”, a New York Tour Company, based on Fifth Avenue. In recent years, he was a manager for Macy’s in Livingston, worked in the Pension Department as an Administrative Specialist for Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company, worked as an Accountant in the Pension Department in the Essex County Court House, and most recently managed the Rockaway Mall Concessions for Ginty’s Irish Gifts, based in Morristown.
Gene was a columnist, entitled “Confidentially Speaking” for the Shamrock Newspaper, and was Editor of the Harp and Shamrock Newspaper.
Gene was instrumental in forming the Joseph J. O’hara Association and the Peter J. Smith Cultural Association and held the Office of President for both organizations for many years. He was awarded the Golden Lifetime Membership Award by both of these Associations. He is currently President of the Frank McGovern Association, who also awarded him the Lifetime Membership Award.
Gene is a Charter Member and first Corresponding Secretary of the Friendly Sons of the Shillelagh of Essex County, and was feted at a Testimonial Dinner for his fine endeavors and innovative ideas.
He is currently serving as a member of the Board of Governors of the Giblin Association, and was Chairman of the “25th Anniversary Cocktail Party” and the “40th Anniversary Dinner Dance” at the Mayfair Farms
He is a former Trustee and Member, since its inception of the John F. Cryan Association.
Gene is a member of the Irish American Cultural Institute, the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, and the Northwest Irish American Association, all of Morris County, the St. Patrick’s Guard of Honor, the Brian Boru Association, the Joseph Nugent Sr. Association, and former member of the United Irish Institute of New Jersey, the Ruane Association and the Scalon Association
Gene was a Democratic District Leader in Irvington’s West Ward for many years.
Gene was recently named as Co-Chairperson of the 1995 Irish Festival of the Garden State Arts Center by the Chairperson, Kathleen Hyland.
Gene assists Brendan Ward a Co-host of the “Best of Ireland” Irish Radio Program, W.J.D.M, 1530 AM broadcasting each Sunday from Elizabeth, NJ.
He was predeceased by his parents Peter J., Sr. And Delia O’Reilly Smith. His sisters Peggy Ferugia DeBala, Kathleen Green, Anne Regan, and Lorraine O’Connor. His brothers James, Philip and Peter, Jr.
He is survived by his sister Honora Carney and a plethora of nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews, great-great nieces, great-great nephew, and good friends.
Visitation will be Friday May 31, 2019 from 2-4 and 7-9 at the Valley Memorial Funeral Home 1012 Valley Rd., Gillette, NJ. A Mass of Christian burial will be Saturday 1:00 PM at St. Vincent de Paul RC Church in Stirling. Cremation is private. In Lieu of Flowers donations may be made to Newark Beth Israel Medical Center Heart Transplant Unit 201 Lyons Ave or newarkbethgiving.org. For more information and online condolences visit valleymemorialfuneralhome.net