Music 01

Reverend Dr. Graham Michael Smith

April 30, 2020

Obituary

The Very Reverend Dr. Graham Michael Smith, retired Dean of Saint George’s College Jerusalem, has entered into God’s greater care and larger service.  At age 71, he died on April 30, 2020 in Portland, Oregon from non-Covid pneumonia and Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Graham is survived by his wife Sherry (nee Sharon Lee Rice); two adult children, Ryan (Krista) of Hillsboro, Oregon and Trina Cohorst (Dennis) of Oswego, Illinois; five grandchildren Ella, Tiana and Boden Smith, Garrett and Clara Cohorst; and a beloved brother Stephen (Stephanie) of Lincoln, Massachusetts. 

Graham is predeceased by his parents Dr. Norman O. Smith and Ann M. (O’Connor), and a brother Richard (Meg) of Rochester, New York.

Graham was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, raised in Yonkers, New York and attended Roosevelt High School. As an Eagle Scout, he continued to support scouting into retirement. He studied the violin, loved classical music and enjoyed playing throughout his life.

He graduated from Fordham University in 1970, majoring in Russian Studies and Political Philosophy. After receiving a Master of Divinity degree from the Episcopal Theological School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, he served as curate at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Lakewood, Ohio and as rector of Church of the Good Shepherd in Lyndhurst, Ohio. He then was rector of St. David’s Church in Glenview, Illinois from 1992 until 2011. In 1997 he received a Doctor of Ministry degree from Virginia Theological Seminary with a dissertation on servant leadership and the theology of the Trinity.

Priorities of his vibrant, growth-filled ministry included Biblical preaching, Christian formation, a flourishing music ministry, local outreach, and vital connections to the Anglican church in Jamaica, Madagascar, Kenya, Chile and Jerusalem. Parishes grew in numbers and faith under his leadership. He was appreciated for having perfect pitch and a robust singing voice, a lively sense of humor and for being enthusiastic about hospitality. His caring nature resulted in many close and enduring friendships. He strongly supported the Episcopal Church and several parishioners became priests under his mentorship.

He was honored to be the dean of St. George’s College Jerusalem from 2011 to 2015 under Archbishop Suheil Duwani. While there, he oversaw important building renovations and worked hand in hand with staff to welcome pilgrims from all over the world. He served as a canon of St. George’s Cathedral, actively participating in the life of the local community.

During his retirement, he served as interim dean of St. Peter’s Cathedral in Helena, Montana and assisted at his local Hillsboro parish and various churches in Portland, Oregon.

He was a gifted leader and served on many committees and commissions. He served many years on the boards of The Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD) and The Living Church Foundation.

He will be remembered for his strong devotion to his faith, family, friends, parishioners, music, hospitality, and Major League Baseball. Go Dodgers!

Memorial service and internment will be in Glenview, Illinois at a future date.

Family suggests two options for memorials:

Saint George’s College Jerusalem https://www.saintgeorgescollegejerusalem.com

Food pantry/community assistance program where Graham regularly helped.

Checks can be sent to:

Community Hands Up, 372 NE Lincoln, Hillsboro, OR 97123

 

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