Cover photo for Charles Smith Jr.'s Obituary
Charles Smith Jr. Profile Photo
1944 Charles 2021

Charles Smith Jr.

April 15, 1944 — September 9, 2021

Denver, CO

Life’s Journey

Charles Lueray Smith, Jr.

Charles Lueray Smith was born April 15, 1944, in Elk City, Oklahoma to the union of Charles Smith and Christine Carter. He was the 2nd of 9 children including, Bonnie, Dorothy, Betty, Vernell, Larry, Ronnie, Jackie, and Jewell. As a child, he enjoyed, fishing, horseback riding, and playing football. At a young age, he received a 4H club award for raising crops and animals.

A vivid childhood memory Charles would share was of a time when he, his brothers and friends went to a rock query hoping to skinny dip in the clear blue water to escape the heat of the day. The pre-teens ignored the “Keep Out” warning and one of his friends took off into the water. The boy was immediately attacked by water moccasins and did not survive. Charles never forgot this experience and his takeaway from the tragic event. Charles always “took heed to warning signs.” Charles never had an interest in swimming after that incident.

Charles attended Richland School from kindergarten to 9th grade and Booker T. Washington High School. After graduating high school, Charles continued his education at Langston University for two years where he played football.

Charles married, Joyce Wandick in Spencer, OK in October of 1964. From their union came four children: Gayla, Bridgette, Trudy & Shannon. Charles moved his family to Denver in 1970. He loved youth and could easily be considered a maker of men. He would teach young men to patch asphalt holes and pay them adult wages. He is remembered for telling young men to “put some base in your voice” and for demanding that they refer to adults with Sir and Ma'am. Today, he is still referred to by many as “Uncle Smitty.”

Charles never met a stranger and loved bringing people together.

He opened a social club on 34th Ave; where locals could come eat, drink, dance & play pool, and other games. On Saturday mornings, he would open his club to neighborhood kids only, providing them with a safe space to play, work, and learn. He would prepare them all cheeseburgers and chili-fries.

A man of many talents; Thinking outside the box., Charles then found work installing ventilation shafts in mines in Wyoming. He would leave home each week for work and come home every weekend to be with his family. While working in Wyoming, he was the only black man in the area but managed to make friends with all the local white sheep herders. In their downtime, Charles would cook for them and they would take part in a gambling game they called “Baboo.”

Later in his professional career, Charles worked for Boeing Aircraft and IMB. He also worked alongside him brother, Ronnie, doing roof repairs and installations. An entrepreneur and businessman at heart, Charles started Desert Tropics, a landscaping business, in Las Vegas, Nevada. He moved his business venture to Denver, Colorado in 2001 and re-named it A-Zoom Landscaping.

Just before moving back to Denver from Las Vegas, Charles and his daughter, Trudy promised each other to make change in their lives and to get baptized together.

Although Trudy fell ill and passed away before they could re-new their vow to God side-by-side, upon her passing, Charles was baptized at New Testament Holiness Church in Denver.

Charles reconnected with his nurse, Christine Saunders, He met 35 years prior at St. Luke’s Hospital.  Reconnecting they have been inseparable ever-since. They joined in a marriage union on September 12, 2002, in Broomfield, CO. Charles Had a daily routine at 7.00am start the day with morning prayer with his brother Ronnie Smith 5 days a week. He was faithful on Emanuel Christian Center Noon Day Prayer Line.

On weekends, Charles and Christine would host a sleep over for their grandchildren to come spend time with them. On Saturday mornings, Charles would prepare them all breakfast.

In his final years, Charles became a member of Emmanuel Christian Center and was a faithful church goer. He would pick-up his grandchildren and great-grandchildren every Sunday morning for Church.

Charles will be remembered for his giving. From passing out Thanksgiving Turkeys, to preparing Mother’s and Father’s Day brunches for the church. From bringing those suffering from homelessness home to eat to sharing his life experiences with others in hopes of saving them from his past mistakes. He gave himself whole heartedly to anyone and everyone.

He will also be remembered as a dignified, suave, well-dressed, wise, an excellent cook, about his money, and "Sweet Smitty" among many other things. He will be missed by all who were fortunate enough to have known the kind and wonderful man.  To know Charles was to love him.

He is preceded in death by 2 children, Bridgette Moton, Trudy Smith; grand-parents, Jake and Lizzie Carter; parents, Charles Smith and Christine Carter; siblings, Bonnie Johnson (William Johnson), Vernell Smith, Jackie Smith.

Charles L, Smith, Jr. departed this life to the embrace of the Lord on September 9, 2021, in Denver, Colorado.  Those left to cherish his memory and continue his legacy include his wife, Christine Smith; siblings, Betty Jean Clark, Dorothy Harris (Pastor Lee Harris), Larry Smith, Elder Ronnie Smith (Dianne Smith), Jewell Carter; three children, Gayla Smith (Christopher Walker Sr.), Shannon Smith, Calandus Harris; grandchildren, Christopher Walker, Jr. (Dasia Price), Joi Moton (Chason Davis), Sabrina Harris, Hope Lighon, Shannon Smith, Jr., Yovonne Flerry, Isaiah Flerry; great-grandchildren, Macarius Davis, and Denim Price-Walker and a host of many cousins, nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Charles Smith Jr., please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, September 24, 2021

4:00 - 7:00pm (Mountain time)

Pipkin Braswell Chapel of Peace (East Colfax Avenue, Denver)


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Funeral Service

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Starts at 10:00am (Mountain time)

Emmanuel Christian Center

3155 Chambers Rd, Aurora, CO 80011

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Saturday, September 25, 2021

Starts at 2:00pm (Mountain time)

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