Bishop Edward C. Malesic will celebrate the funeral Mass for Deacon Dennis L. Smith at 11 a.m. Jan. 15 in Nativity of the Lord Jesus Church, 2425 Myersville Road, Akron. Deacon Ray Daull will be the homilist.
The wake for Deacon Smith will begin with vespers at 3 p.m. Jan 14 in Nativity of the Lord Jesus Church. Auxiliary Bishop emeritus Roger Gries will preside at vespers with Deacon Bob Bender as homilist. The wake will continue until 6 p.m.
Deacon Smith, 74, died on Jan. 8. Survivors include his wife, Virginia (McCale), son, grandchildren and great-grandchild.
He was born on Aug. 16, 1946. Bishop Anthony M. Pilla ordained him to the permanent diaconate for service to the Diocese of Cleveland on May 22, 1993 in the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist.
After ordination, Deacon Smith was assigned to serve Immaculate Conception Parish in Akron. On Aug. 1, 2002, he was assigned to Nativity of the Lord Jesus Parish in Akron. During this assignment – on May 26, 2017 -- he was appointed spiritual director of the Akron Knights of Columbus No. 4664.
Deacon Smith also served as a member of the diocesan Clergy Personnel Board and contributed to the discernment process for assignments of priests and deacons. He enjoyed diaconal ministry in the parish and served a master of ceremonies for various bishops during his years as a deacon. Those who knew him said his kindness and easy-going spirit will be missed greatly.
Interment will be in Holy Cross Cemetery, Akron.