It is with the deepest of sadness that I write that Jay Smith, HHS class of 1981, passed away in June, 2021 from complications due to an aggressive form of ALS ("Lou Gehrig's disease").  Jay was in excellent physical and mental health before the diagnosis in 2020; my understanding is that ALS arises from a genetic mutation for which medical research currently has no explanation.

Jay was a devoted spouse for 30 years, father to two wonderful children (Corinna and Andre), an athlete, life-long learner, and civic activist.  Jay and his family were long-time residents in Burbank but have resided in Raleigh, NC since 2005.  Jay and his wife owned a small but successful real estate business and property management firm in Raleigh.  Jay was active in the local Toastmasters group and worked with a christian relief organization in Raleigh to directly place individuals experiencing homelessness into he and his wife's unoccupied apartments.

HHS classmates may remember Jay for his excellence and creativity in individual sports: skiing, surfing, motocross, BMX, and especially skateboarding.  In fact, he won several competitions in skateboarding, even into his mid-50's.  He regularly skated with and mentored hundreds of kids in Raleigh at the local skatepark.  Additionally, before moving to Raleigh, Jay helped secure the property and the funding for the Burbank skatepark.

Wayne Smith (older brother, HHS class of 1979)

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Comment by Wayne Smith on July 10, 2021 at 3:13pm

One more thing.  Jay's mentor at HHS was Mr. Falce.  That teacher, guide, and life coach is substantially responsible for Jay's success during High School.  I know that Mr. Falce (Foreign Language teacher?) helped others too.

Mr. Falce, if you are still around, thank you for seeing the beauty in Jay, and thank you for making a significant contribution at HHS.

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