Anthony Owen Smith

  • Wednesday September 1, 2010
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Anthony Owen Smith, 55, a long-time Redemptorist priest who served as assistant pastor at St. Gerard's Catholic Church in Great Falls, Montana, from 1986 to 1992, died of cardiac arrest on July 5, 2010, in California.

Along with his pastoral work, he served youth groups, HIV victims, jail and prison inmates, and was the founder and director of Rural Aid Services in Montana. He also was chaplain and director of the Campus Ministry program at the then-College of Great Falls in Montana and later did similar service in Stockton, California.

Throughout his adult life, Father Tony administered to the disabled and infirm, positively impacting many lives in California and the Northwest.

Gifted with a love of learning, Father Tony received his B.A. Degree with Honors in 1980 in Systematic Theology from the University of Kent in Canterbury, England. Certifications in Hispanic Pastoral Studies and Campus Ministry followed in 1983 and 1988. Between 1994 and 2000, he studied in Rome, receiving both his Master's and Doctorate Degrees in Moral Theology.

Other accomplishments included college teaching in Washington, California and Arizona. Father Tony loved singing, and was reported by his mother as having sung from the time he was born.

Originally from England, he became an American citizen in 1988. His parents, both of England, preceded him in death. He is survived by two brothers and their families in England and by relatives in Ireland.

The many friends he made in his various localities remember with admiration and love the gifts of hope and persistence with which Father Tony faced life despite any difficulties.

His brothers can be reached at the following addresses:  Paul Smith, 55 Sunnybank Road, Middlemore Drive, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands B73 5RJ. United Kingdom; and Gerard Smith, 50 Humphrey, Harborne, Birmingham B17 OJN, United Kingdom.