Rawling Wise Smith, 64, of Moosic, died Sunday afternoon at Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia after an illness. He is survived by his adoring wife, caregiver and best friend, Lori Davis Smith. Together since 1983, the couple was married on June 4, 2003.
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Born in Baltimore, Maryland, on January 8, 1950, Rawling is the son of the Rev. Elmer Smith of Scranton, and the late Lucille Curley Smith. He attended the former Scranton Technical High School, where upon graduation in 1969, he had solidified himself as one of the most prolific athletes in school history. He had broken numerous school football and track and field records, several of which, including his 100-yard dash time, still stand today. He had joined Tech's wrestling team his senior year to fill the team's heavyweight vacancy and wrestled his way to an unblemished record. Upon graduation, he went to West Texas State and Palo Verde College before finishing his collegiate football career at Wake Forest University. He spent numerous years with the Northeast Stars and later the Scranton Eagles and for his numerous accolades and accomplishments, he was inducted into the Northeast Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 2001.
Having never lost his love for competition, he played in mixed softball leagues with his wife, was a loyal lifelong Washington Redskins fan, loved having his friends and family over his house to play cards, and always enjoyed watching his great-nephews' basketball and football games.
Former vice president of his local AFSCME Union, Rawling retired after working as an equipment operator for PennDOT for over thirty years.
He is also survived by his son, Rawling "Rico;" his siblings, Wilber "Web" Smith of Wilkes-Barre; Derrix Smith Sr., of Scranton; and Mon Lisa Johnson and husband, Michael of Randallstown, Maryland; five granddaughters; many nieces and nephews; godchildren, Marina and Eric Parker of Old Forge; and his black Labrador Retriever, Franklin.
Also preceding him in death are brothers, Cleve Sr. and Frank Smith; and his beloved black Lab, Samson.
His wife would like to acknowledge Rawling's nephew, Dr. Armando Sallavanti, as well as all doctors, nurses, staff and members of the transplant team at Hahnemann Hospital for the amazing care they collectively gave Rawling throughout the last several years.
Funeral services to be concelebrated by Pastor Wendy D'Agostino and Rawling's cousin, Paula Valentine, and interment will be private.
Relatives and friends may pay their respects on Friday between 4-7 p.m. at the Thomas P. Kearney Funeral Home Inc., 517 N. Main St., Old Forge.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Rawling's name to the Gift of Life Family House, 401 Callowhill Street, Philadelphia, PA 19123.
Please visit www.kearney funeralhome.com for directions or to leave an online condolence.
Kearney Funeral Homes
517 North Main Street
Old Forge, PA 18518-1811
Published in Scranton Times from Mar. 19 to Mar. 20, 2014