Leland Floyd Smith, Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church Wytheville since 1997, died December 2, 2006. He was born in Alexandria, Virginia in 1946 to the late John Thomas and Willa Mae Smith. Leland graduated from Thomas Edison High School, Fairfax County, Va. in 1964, went on to George Mason College of the University of Virginia where he was a member of the first graduating History Class. He went on to receive his Masters in Divinity from the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria in 1976. He continued to broaden his education throughout the remainder of his life. He served the following churches: Olivet in Franconi, Va., Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Fayetteville N.C., Saint Mary's Episcopal Church in Kinston, N.C., and the Church of the Holy Innocents in Henderson, N.C. Leland served the United States army in Vietnam and at the Pentagon from 1968-1971, working in orphanages in his spare time. At the time of his death, Leland was serving on numerous committees, including United Way, Episcopal Appalachian Ministries, St. John's Preschool, and various committees in the Episcopal Diocese of Southwestern Virginia, including the Standing committee, Dean, Executive Board, Education Consortium, a member of the Trustees of the Diocese and Grace House. The Right Reverend Neff Powell, Bishop of SWVA said: "I am heartbroken. Leland was one of the finest priests I had the privilege to serve alongside." In addition to various formal committees, Leland has always been an advocate for children and their needs. He is survived by his wife, Janet Pitts Smith; his son, Michael Christopher Smith; and siblings, Linda Cancilla and John T. Smith; and scores of special friends and relations. Visitation will be at St. John's Episcopal Church Tuesday, December 5, 2006 from 5 to 7 p.m. His memorial service will be St. Nicholas Day, Wednesday, December 6, 2006 at 1 p.m. at St. John's. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. John's Episcopal Church, 275 E. Main Street Wytheville, VA 24382. Please mark them Good Samaritan Fund (which is used to help children) or the General Fund. Grubb Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
This obituary was originally published in the Roanoke Times.