Friends and family are mourning the loss of Tazewell “Taz” Smith, who passed away peacefully at his home in Orient, N.Y., after a brief illness on April 14, 2021. He was 73.
Tazewell was born in Flushing, Queens, to Tazewell Wellington Smith and Margaret Emmott Smith on May 17, 1947. Shortly after graduating from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, N.Y., he married Kathleen Egan, in 1969. The couple set up house in Flushing before moving to Glen Head, Long Island, to raise their three sons.
A textbook example of rising up through the ranks, Taz began his career in the management trainee program of Manufacturers Hanover Trust and stayed with the bank through its various mergers. He retired from JP Morgan Chase in 2006 as senior vice president and division executive. No stranger to multitasking, Taz spent the first seven years of his career serving his country on weekends as a member of the United States Air Force National Guard. He would later be nominated by his employer to attend the Program for Leadership Development at Harvard Business School.
A staunch advocate of community service, Taz tirelessly lent his talents to The Interfaith Nutrition Network, the North Shore Sheltering Program for the Homeless, The Boy Scouts of America, the Wildlife Conservation Society, the New York Aquarium and the Flushing Module Youth Program, and was a member of the Cartias Retreat team at St. Paul of the Cross in North Palm Beach, Fla. He was chairman of the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation and, after retiring to his home in Orient, served on the board of Eastern Long Island Hospital and was a past president of Oysterponds Historical Society.
Taz had a passion for woodworking and could often be found in his barn creating decoys and other folk-art waterfowl, many of which he donated as auction items for various charitable fundraisers. He also enjoyed being behind the wheel and was known for driving 30 minutes every morning to get coffee and for making a yearly cross-country road trip with Kathy to see national parks and visit with his eldest son and grandchildren. An avid cook, Taz loved to entertain his extended family and could often be found working the grill or behind the carving board. He loved being surrounded by his family and friends, enjoying many memorable weekends with his children and grandchildren in Orient.
Predeceased by his parents and sister, Cynthia Macari, Taz is survived by his wife of 52 years, Kathy; his sons, Tazewell (Crocket, Calif.), Craig (Port Jefferson, N.Y.) and Keith (New Canaan, Conn.); brother Peter (Phoenix, Ariz.); daughter-in-law Jaclyn; and grandchildren Tazewell, Tiernan, Jack, Cooper, Mason and Rhys.
Visitation will be held Sunday, April 18, from 2 to 6 p.m. at Horton-Mathie Funeral Home, 735 First St., Greenport.
A funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, April 19, at St. Agnes R.C. Church, 523 Front St., Greenport, N.Y., following social distancing guidelines. A private burial will take place in the near future.
In lieu of flowers, the Smith family suggests memorial contributions be made to Interfaith Nutrition Network (The INN), 211 Fulton Ave., Hempstead, NY 11550 (the-inn.org).
This is a paid notice.