Crossed-the-Bar • Al Smith • 1942 – 2019 & BJ Smith • 1944 – 2020

Al Smith
Photo of painting courtesy of Hobie Statzer

This painting of Al was commissioned by our Chapter Secretary and presented to Al’s wife in appreciation for all the work Al performed for our Chapter.

Al Smith
Al volunteering at the 2017 MD Lighthouse Challenge.

Shortly after he submitted his membership and 40+3 reports for this newsletter, Membership Chairman Al Smith was hospitalized. On January 16, Al lost his battle with brain cancer. He had been a member of the Chapter since 1993, joining the board of directors as membership chairman in 2011. Al worked on most, if not all, the preservation projects for the Chapter. Together with his wife BJ, Al volunteered for every Maryland Lighthouse Challenge, mostly at Calvert Marine Museum, but early on at other sites. He and BJ organized and led some memorable trips for the Chapter and both had been active in the New Jersey Lighthouse Society.Those of you who knew him know that he always had a ready smile and his laugh was contagious. There were no strangers in his life, just friends he hadn’t met yet.Al’s passing came while we were readying this newsletter for print. We will have more memories of him in the spring issue.Fair seas and following winds my friend.

Al and family
Al with his wife, BJ, and children, Cathy and Michael, at Al’s retirement party in 2002.


On January 25, 2020, Al’s wife, BJ, passed away. BJ was a great friend of the Chapter. She coordinated trips, participated in the Chapter Newsletter parties, and volunteered for the MD Lighthouse Challenge. We will greatly miss her.

Obituary: Betty Jean Smith (nee Keyek), on January 25, 2020, of Audubon Park; formerly of Camden. Age 75. Beloved wife of the late Albert. Devoted mother of Cathy Smith and Michael Smith. Loving sister of Patricia Rogalski (Gregory) and the late Eugene Keyek (Sue), Gerald Keyek, Jack Keyek (Joan), and Ronald Keyek. Dear sister-in-law of Bernie and Jean. Also survived by many nieces and nephews. Betty Jean was a member of the Chesapeake Chapter of the Lighthouse Society and the Audubon Park Women’s Club. She worked for Freeman and Mintz Law Firm. There will be a Memorial Service 12 noon on Saturday, March 14th at the Audubon Park Fire Hall, 18 Road C, Audubon Park, NJ 08106. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Betty Jean’s memory to the Parkinson’s Foundation, 200 SE 1st Street, Suite 800, Miami, FL 33131.
~ Published in Courier-Post from Jan. 29 to Jan. 30, 2020.

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