Joseph Burke Smith, an Army and Coast Guard Reserve Veteran and life-long resident of Norfolk, Virginia passed away on August 3, 2022, at the age of 69 after an on-going battle with cancer.
Joseph is survived by his six children, 5 daughters:Tusenia Bland, Latana Rogers, Melethia Pittman, Josette Smith and Retina Smith and 1 son Joseph Smith Jr. He also leaves behind 9 sisters and 4 brothers: Teresa Smith, Yvonne Smith, Denise Smith, Michelle Smith, Patricia Dowell, Susan Smith, Sabrina Smith, and Mary Jarrow(Norfolk) and Ada Ruffin (Boston). His brothers: Ronnie Smith and Anthony Smith (Norfolk), James Ruffin (Boston) and Isaac Ruffin (Tampa Bay). His legacy will continue through his 20 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.
Joseph is predeceased by his mother Clara Smith and father Ernest Ruffin. He is also predeceased by 4 sisters and 4 brothers; Barbara Scott, WillaMae Etheridge (Norfolk), Irene Ruffin and Ernestine Ruffin (Boston); Gary Smith, Ernest Smith (Norfolk), Roy Ruffin and Joseph Ruffin (Boston).
Joseph was born on June 12, 1953, in Norfolk, Virginia. Upon graduating high school, he joined the U.S. Army. While serving he was a Tactical Wire Operations Specialist. He was awarded the National Defense Service Medal and was a skilled marksman with the M-16 rifle. Joseph received an honorable discharge from the Army 1978. He continued his professional career in servitude to the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve. He retired from the Naval Supply Center. Joseph spent his life protecting his family, friends, and country. For this, we say, “Thank you and we love you!”