The Rev. Richard Anthony Smith, 53, of 1512 West Lane, Petersburg, Va., departed this life unexpectedly on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014, at Southside Regional Medical Center in Petersburg, Va.

He was born in Summit, N.J., to Alfred and Ruby Smith.

Richard was educated in the East Orange, N.J., school system and graduated in 1978. He attended Hampton Institute (University) and Kean University. In 1985, he graduated from the Burlington County Police Academy with academic honors; he also attended and graduated from paralegal school and Teen Challenge. He was ordained into the ministry on Oct. 6, 2013, and was an associate minister of Mount Zion Baptist Church, Ford, Va. He was the loving and devoted husband of Cheryl James Smith

He is survived by his parents, Alfred and Ruby Smith of Willingboro, N.J.; one brother, Christopher Smith of Hillsboro, N.J.; three children: Anthony Smith of Newark, N.J., CuJuan T. Garnes and Shanice T. Garnes of Petersburg; one special granddaughter, dear to his heart, Ar'marni D. Thomas of Petersburg; three uncles, Franklin Jordan (Louise) of Darlington, S.C., Norman Jordan Jr. (Brenda) of Snellville, Ga., and Lonnie Wright (Edna) of Florence, S.C.; one niece, Lauren Smith of Hillsboro; nephew, Kyle Smith of Hillsboro; father and mother-in-law of Willie and Mildred Walker of Petersburg; other in-laws, Melvin James III of Petersburg, the Rev. Dr. Steven L. James (Ann Marie) of Hinesville, Ga., Sonja James (Erik) of Chesterfield, Va., Ronald Walker of Bronx, N.Y., and Melba Banks of Virginia Beach, Va.; and a host of other nieces, nephews, cousins, relatives and friends.

Homegoing services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014, at Mount Zion Baptist Church, Ford, Va. The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, at the Petersburg Chapel-Joseph M. Johnson and Son Funeral Home. The family of the Rev. Smith may be contacted by calling Cheryl J. Smith, 804-863-4893, and will assemble at the residence, 1512 West Lane, Petersburg, Va., at 10 on the morning of the service.

Funeral services have been entrusted to the Joseph M. Johnson and Son Funeral Home Chapel, 530 S. Sycamore St., Petersburg, 804 863-4411. Online condolences may be submitted at

Funeral Home

Johnson Services-Petersburg
530 S. Sycamore Street  Petersburg, VA 23803
(804) 863-4411

Published in The Progress-Index from Feb. 19 to Feb. 20, 2014