May 31, 1924 - April 29, 2022
Wednesday, May 4, 2022 at 11:30 AM
1813 Kecoughtan Road
Hampton, Virginia 23661
Rabbi Michael Panitz
PO Box 59816
Chicago, Illinois 60659
Mayer Smith, age 97, passed away at home on Friday, April 29, 2022. Mayer was born in and grew up in Newport News, VA., the youngest of 10. He was a long-time resident of Northern Virginia and Atlanta, Georgia, and spent his final years in Chicago, IL. Mayer was a corporal in the Army Air Corps in World War 2, operating US homing beacons in China for US bombers. He married his childhood sweetheart Ruth Greenspon of Newport News, VA, immediately after the war and a few years later moved to Arlington, VA. He began his career building desperately needed starter housing. In 1956 he pivoted to selling insurance, which he did for over 60 years, many of them as part of the Million Dollar Round Table.
Mayer was an ardent, generous Zionist and was very active in the Northern Virginia Jewish Community. He was a volunteer cantor at Arfax in Arlington, Olam Tikvah Congregation in Fairfax, and the Chabad and Etz Chaim synagogues in Atlanta. Mayer was married 66 years to Ruth until she passed in 2013. They had 3 children, Carol(Z"L), Steve, and Jonathan. They had 8 grandchildren, Jason (Z'L), Rachel, Jacob, Victor, Noah, David, Lily, and Shira. He was very excited about his 5 great-grandchildren Maria, Luciana Ruth, Colby, Ryan, and Isabelle. Mayer was also involved in founding the organ donor program in the 1960s before it was on driver's licenses. Mayer was often seen wearing his 'All you gotta do is ask" button. He was known for being incredibly optimistic, outgoing, and upbeat, with a harmonica and a bad joke always at the ready. He will be missed greatly by so many people.
He will be buried next to his wife at the Jewish Cemetery of the Virginia Peninsula in Hampton, VA on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 at 11:30am. Donations in his memory can be made to Hatzalah Chicago, PO Box 59816, Chicago, Illinois 60659, www.hatzalahchicago.org. Arrangements by Chicago Jewish Funerals - Skokie Chapel, 847.229.8822, www.cjfinfo.com.