Lorenzo Smithof Little Rock, AR, 1947 - 2014
Lorenzo Smith "Ren" of Little Rock, Ark. was born August 29, 1947, the third child of Elisa and David Smith. Born and raised in Marianna, Arkansas he graduated from Anna P. Strong High School in 1966, and enrolled at Arkansas AM&N College, now the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB). Lorenzo earned a Bachelor of Science in Music Education in 1970.
Moving to Little Rock, he began an extraordinary 15 year career as a Band Director in the Little Rock Public School System. In 1987, he and his wife, Sandra opened Center Stage Music. In 2002 Center Stage received the Little Rock Chamber of Commerce Minority Business of the Year award. Hundreds of students received music instruction over the years because of "Ren" who never stopped being a music educator.
A gifted performer and composer, he and Sandra co-authored "Minor Key" the theme song for the 1970s local television show Minor Key hosted by the late, great Art Porter Sr. In addition, Lorenzo wrote theme songs for Black Entertainment Television (BET), the television show 30 Plus, KTHV Channel 11, KATV Channel 7, the radio show Time to Consider, and KITA 1440 radio. As a true Soul recording artist, he was featured on the True Soul CD and box set, "Deep Sounds from the Left of Stax", released worldwide in June 2011.
In addition to being an entrepreneur, performer, composer, and educator, Lorenzo love the Lord and served faithfully at Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church. He was a Trustee from 1974-2013, President of the Men of Bethel and Director of the Men's Chorus for over 20 years, Lay Organization President, Class Leader, Assistant Sunday School Teacher and Saxophonist.
His numerous awards and recognitions are a reflection of the many ways he served selflessly his church, profession, and community. Among his awards are: the 12th Episcopal District of the AME Church Lay Organization Business Award (2005), a citation of Service from the Arkansas House of Representatives (2005), the Governor's Arts in Education Award (2006), Bethel AME Man of the Year (2006), and Little Rock Family Magazine Reader's Choice Award for " Best Music Teacher (June 2006). In 2013, Lorenzo was inducted into the "2013 Hall of Fame" by the Moton, Strong, Lee Alumni Association, Inc., Marianna, Arkansas.
Lorenzo was preceded in death by his father, David (KD) Smith Jr.; and his brother, Stanley Smith. He leaves to cherish his memory his beloved wife of 39 years, Sandra Laverne Smith; his mother, Eliza Mobley Smith of Marianna, Ark.; six siblings, Alvin Smith (Barbara) of Carson California, Serdell "Pat" Williams (Howard), Riverdale, Ill., Faye Smith McClinton of Chicago, Ill., Bessie Smith Lancelin (Gregory) of Pine Bluff, Ark., David Smith III of Fayetteville, Ga., Joann Smith Nelson (Marcus) of Fairburn, Ga. He will be remembered by a host of nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, other relatives and friends.
Home going celebration services will be on Saturday, May 3, 2014, 11 a.m., at Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, 815 West 16th Street, Little Rock, Ark. Family visitation will be held Friday, May 2, 2014, 6-7 pm, at the church. Interment will be at Haven of Rest Cemetery. Services entrusted to: Ruffin & Jarrett Funeral Home, 1200 S. Chester St. Little Rock, Ark. (501) 372-1305. Sign his online guestbook at www.ruffinjarrett.com.
Published May 1, 2014
OBITUARY SUBMITTED BY:
Ruffin & Jarrett Funeral Home
1200 Chester St., Little Rock, AR