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A Celebration of Anthony Smith

May 8th, 2015 • People

It is with the heaviest hearts that we announce the passing of a member of our RecycleForce family, Anthony Smith.

Perhaps more than any single person at RecycleForce, Anthony Smith personified the heart and soul of our organization. His name, and even more, his smile and winning attitude will be remembered by so many in our community.

Anthony joined RecycleForce is 2007 and has led our E-Waste Event efforts for years. His official titles were Director of Events and Member, RecycleForce Board of Directors. Unofficially, he was father or drill instructor – whichever was most needed – for hundreds of current and former permanent and transitional employees here at RecycleForce. It is hard to imagine that we must go on without the support, encouragement and genuine love we all felt from and for Anthony Smith.

To symbolize Anthony’s dedication to helping each and every RecycleForce team member grow roots with their families and work, become stronger and more stable individuals, and reach high for their goals, we will plant a tree in his memory. We will have a planting ceremony on Friday, May 22 at 12:30 pm in which we will be planting a tree in honor of Mr. Smith in Windsor Park with a lunch will follow the ceremony.

All donations received to RecycleForce between now and May 31 will go to the Anthony Smith Memorial Fund. If you’d like to donate, you can do so here.

We’d like to leave you with some words about Mr. Smith that were shared at his funeral:

Every person here is blessed.  If you knew Anthony for five minutes, five years or forever, you knew a man whose character was beyond compare and whose constant perseverance to change himself – changed the world. 

Perhaps more than any single person at RecycleForce, Anthony Smith personified the heart and soul of our organization. His dedication and commitment to our mission and our people and was proven by his presence – everyday – all the time. 

Anthony showed up before anyone else and opened our doors. He was at RecycleForce on week days and weekends. Early in the morning and late at night. The things that could have gone wrong didn’t because Anthony was there, looking out, anticipating and fixing what we didn’t even know was getting ready to break. 

In the circle, on the floor and on our docks Anthony was always watching – always aware and always looking out for every single body who ever found their way to another chance.     

Since he joined RecycleForce as a regular employee and worked his way to a permanent employee and evolved into the leader he was, you always knew you could count on “A.” We all always knew A had us, on ordinary days and difficult days. He was there to listen, advise, counsel, encourage teach and lead every one of us by example every day.

Some people say they know better – Anthony lived it. He taught us how to roll with the punches, how to work harder without complaint, to smile in the face of adversity and be glad about it, to be glad for the God-given skills and talent and time that we have. As much as anything Anthony wanted everyone to learn what he had learned in an easier way than he learned it.

Anyone who has been on the other end of a tongue lashing from A is blessed. Anyone who got his cheerful good morning at a ridiculously early morning hour is blessed. Anyone who ever heard Anthony Smith laugh is blessed. If he took you aside and encouraged you or pushed you harder, you are blessed. 

Anthony Smith didn’t pull punches and he knew when someone needed a soft reprimand or a good hard talking to. He knew and he cared and he did what he did just because it was the right thing to do, because he could and because he knew better, and he made a difference in our lives. 

Anthony’s name, and more, his smile and big and winning “let’s do this” attitude will be remembered by so many in our community. He touched hearts and changed minds and showed hundreds and thousands in our community what it means to be given a second chance – or a third or fourth. He showed people what success looks like, what professional looks like, what it looks like to care and what “real” is. He was a genuinely good soul and we are blessed. 

Anthony’s official titles were:  Director of Events and Member, RecycleForce Board of Directors. Unofficially, he was father, friend or drill instructor, whichever was most needed for whoever needed it. He was a devoted husband who talked about his wife all the time and told us how lucky he was to have the love of such a good woman. We were lucky he’d share her key lime pie and cookies with us. He talked about his dad and told us when he was on his way to spend time on the porch with him just to sit and be together. He smiled and laughed when he talked about his brothers and sisters and the good times they’d had. He left an unforgettable and indelible impression on us all.  

It is hard to imagine that we must go on without his support and encouragement and the genuine love we all felt from and for Anthony Smith. In A’s honor, we will go on but we will miss Anthony every day. Rest in Peace Anthony, you made a difference in this world and we are blessed for having known you.