Warren James Smith III Profile Photo

Warren James Smith III

April 23, 1954 — April 17, 2024

Aiken

AIKEN, SC - Warren James Smith III passed peacefully at home holding his wife’s hand & was reunited with his Lord & Savior on Wednesday, April 17, 2024, as a result of complications from Multiple System Atrophy, six days shy of his 70th birthday.  In his own words and with his typical sense of humor he said, “I’m going backwards across the finish line” as he joined the party the Smith Family was having in Heaven to welcome him, just like the Christmases at his Poppa Smith’s when growing up.  The grandson & namesake of the late Warren J. Smith Sr. and the great-nephew of the late “Big Mike” Smith, he would get into mischief at Smith’s Restaurant in Cohoes as a little boy running behind the bar and around the kitchen of the historical family establishment.

The only son of the late Warren J. (Red) Smith Jr. and Patricia Ryan Smith was born in Cohoes, NY on April 23, 1954.  He graduated from Cohoes High School, Class of 1972, where he was a three-letter Varsity athlete in football, basketball, and golf.  Warren received an honorable mention for the Troy (NY) Record All Area Football Team 1971-72 season as a punter and was awarded a full four-year football scholarship to Northwestern University but, unfortunately, was unable to attend because of family circumstances.  He continued his education at Junior College of Albany for accounting and Hudson Valley Community College for building technologies.  

His steel industry career in New York from 1973-1988 included employment at General Steel Fabricators in Latham and Steel Krafts in Troy.  One of his greatest professional accomplishments was assisting in the building of the Olympic Village and ski jumps in Lake Placid for the 1980 games.   He married his long-time friend and the love of his life, Christine Jolicoeur, in 1982 and served as vice president for Smith Office Services Inc. in Cohoes from 1988-1992 alongside his wife.  Warren completed his NY career at UHPP/Albany Center for Women’s Health, where he served from 1992-2003 as Director of Maintenance for all their administrative offices and clinics.  

He was a devoted NY Giants fan since childhood, visited the Yale Bowl for team practices in the 1960’s and was able to meet many of the players through his father’s friendships with Alex Webster, Dick Lynch and YA Tittle.  Also a NY Knicks and SF Giants fan, he suffered through many losing seasons for all three teams but never wavered in his support.  Warren played golf at almost every course throughout the New York Capital Region, was a past member at Burden Lake Country Club and retained his membership with The Grafton Trail Riders until his passing.  

In addition to being a talented athlete himself, Warren was also an excellent coach serving in the Cohoes Intermediate Baseball League, the Pop Warner League, and Cohoes Christian Youth Organization Basketball League where his St. Rita’s Boys team went undefeated.

In 2003 Warren and Chris relocated to Wickenburg, AZ to a horse ranch they purchased in 1998 called Palomino Paradise in honor of their beloved quarter horses.  Over the next decade, they traveled the US trail riding in 39 states, which he considered one of his greatest personal achievements riding the same horse, while experiencing our beautiful country on horseback.  He was active in and served as vice president for the Wickenburg Horsemen’s Association, was employed by Rancho de Los Caballeros and the Salome School District up to the time of his first illness.  They also spent time at their smaller horse ranch outside Truth-or-Consequences, NM, until he experienced additional health problems.  In 2013 they relocated to Aiken, SC where he received great healthcare both in Aiken and Augusta, GA.  Warren was again able to enjoy golf as a member of the Kev Dog Club and the Church Golf League and bowled serving as president in the Mixed-Up League and the Sportsmen League, volunteered at the Aiken Community Theatre and Aiken Performing Arts Group, as well as trail riding throughout Hitchcock Woods.  His most recent illness, MSA-P, went undiagnosed for over three years because it is such a rare neurodegenerative disease with no cure, but exhibits a variety of symptoms that are sometimes believed to be other ailments.

In addition to Chris, Warren leaves behind his sister, Candice (Mike) Kufel of Watervliet, NY, and his nephew Scott Drzewiecki of Rensselaer, NY, his constant canine companions Buddy and Bonnie as well as other relatives and many friends throughout the country.  In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his beloved horses, CJ Pearls & Guns and Spirit; dogs, Hildy, Gretchen and Winchester.

Per his request, there will be no services and Warren selflessly donated his brain for MSA research at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL to help find a cure for this disease. Please make memorial contributions in Warren’s name to the Brain Support Network, PO Box 7264, Menlo Park, CA 94026 or at www.brainsupportnetwork.org; and Mission MSA, 1660 International Drive, Suite 600, McLean, VA 22102 or at www.missionmsa.org. A special thanks to Dr. David Zimmerman, Dr. Julie Kurek, Anna Carroll RN, and the entire staff at Agape Hospice for their wonderful, kind, and compassionate care of Warren.

SHELLHOUSE FUNERAL HOME, INC., 924 HAYNE AVE., AIKEN, SC 29801

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