W. Reese Smith
Long-time Marin resident Reese Smith died of heart failure on Sunday, December 27, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. He was 77. His wife of nearly 40 years, Ann Bergstrom, survives him as do his four daughters, Lee, Ambler, Valerie and Luda and two grandchildren, Camilla and Oscar.
Originally from Virginia, graduate of University of Virginia, Reese first moved to Sausalito in 1978 when he began work at Levi Strauss & Co, where he remained until retirement. He and Ann moved to San Anselmo in 1982, where they lived until 2015. He considered Ann his best achievement in life; they navigated many waters together.
Reese was involved in numerous Marin projects. His favorite was as a leader of the Millennium Park playground build. At Levi's, he orchestrated the first benefits package for same-sex and unmarried couples in any Fortune 500 company.
In 2015, he and Ann moved to Washington State. While leaving behind Muir and Stinson beaches, and the support of the AA community — at his death he was happily 10 years sober — he took with him his love of the 49ers, his woodworking tools, and his (favorite) dog Dexter. In their Washington years, Ann and Reese traveled, studied geology, and enjoyed a serene life.
Reese will be remembered for his alligator shirts, the sound of change clanging in his pockets, his love of English history and Wagner's Ring, and his generosity that will live on in the lives of many.
His friends and family are very sad to see him go. An online memorial service will be held in the coming weeks.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Heart Association www.heart.org
or the American Diabetes Association www.diabetes.org
Published by San Francisco Chronicle from Dec. 30 to Dec. 31, 2020.