Half Staff – Ralph Russell Smith II

September 15, 2021
R. Russell Smith II, 80, a lifelong resident of Gloucester and husband of Rosamond Smith, died peacefully at home on the 15th of September, 2021, after a long illness. He was surrounded by his loving family.

Russ was born on November 28, 1940, in Gloucester, Massachusetts, to Senator Benjamin A. Smith II and Barbara Mechem Smith.

A graduate of Gloucester High School and Phillips Exeter Academy, he received his bachelor’s degree from Boston College.

Rising to the rank of Lieutenant Commander in the U.S Coast Guard, he honorably served in combat in Vietnam as well as in operational assignments on the West and East coasts of the U.S. He was a lifelong seafarer and spent decades working at sea and ashore in Gloucester’s fishing and maritime industries, generously sharing his wisdom and knowledge. An avid sailor, he enjoyed his time as director of the Courageous Sailing Center in Boston, as well as winning and running races out of Annisquam and Sandy Bay Yacht Clubs. He continued to play an active role with the Gloucester Schooner Festival race committee.

Russ was a multi-sport athlete, he excelled at football, hockey and tennis, going on to help found the Bomber Hockey Club in Gloucester’s industrial league.

He was a kind and gentle soul deeply devoted to his family, friends and pets. Loved by many, Russ will be missed by all who knew him.

Surviving are his beloved wife of 53 years, Roz; three children, Nathanial Smith and his wife Carrie of Vermont, Rear Admiral R. Russell Smith III and his wife Carrie of Virginia and Shelley Smith of Florida; three wonderful grandchildren, Calvin, Spencer and Saylor Smith; his siblings Susan Crotty and husband Frank, Benjamin A Smith III and wife Julie and Cathleen Smith; also many nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was predeceased by his dear sister Barbara Ramsey.

A reception will be held in his honor at his old stomping ground, the Annisquam Yacht Club in Annisquam, MA, at 12 p.m., on October 9, 2021.
Arrangements are by the Greely Funeral Home, 212 Washington St. Gloucester. Online condolences may be given at: www.greelyfuneralhome.com.