Barry Michael Smith was born in Boston, Massachusetts on April 27, 1966 to Delores Smith Lewis and Alfred Smith. He was affectionately known by his immediate family as “Skeet”. Upon his birth, his uncle said, “Look at the little mosquito”, and when Barry’s almost two-year-old brother, could only pronounce “Skeet”, from the word ‘mosquito’, the nickname stuck forever. At the time of his mother’s remarriage in 1976, Rev. Murphy A. Lewis, fondly known as “Pop”, raised him along with his brothers Troy and Alan, as his own son.
As a child, Barry loved to watch television. He was especially captivated by sci-fi series such as “Star Trek”, “Lost in Space” and animated superhero cartoons like “Batman”, “Superman” and the “Justice League”. Barry would sit close up to the screen as if he could jump in and fight side by side with the superheroes. Despite being told repeatedly to sit back, he would get even closer to the screen, and subsequently became the only brother to need to wear glasses. In fact, Barry was a proud glasses-wearer and never took to wearing contact lenses.
He was the classic middle child. When his other two brothers were out hanging with their buddies, Barry was the home body spending time with Mom or entertaining himself. His love for sci-fi and comics were his constants, and one of his most enjoyable pastimes was sitting down with mom to read comic books. They developed a very special bond. Barry enjoyed many superheroes, but Black Panther was his ultimate favorite. How poignant that the man who played his role so well, Mr. Chadwick Boseman, passed away of the same disease the day before Barry.
In his childhood and adolescent years, Barry attended St. Kevin’s Elementary School and Mission Church High School with his big brother Troy. But eventually Barry decided he wanted to carve out his own path. He chose to attend the Jeremiah Burke High School, and that is where he successfully received his high school diploma. Upon graduation, he matriculated to Fitchburg State College in 1984 and later received his Bachelor of Science in Communications/Media/Technical Writing. There Barry met and made many friends, but one of his best friends was Dr. Albert Turner whom remained close by his side until the day he took his very last breath.
The greatest pride and joy of Barry’s life was the birth of his daughter Alexis Chanté Davis-Smith in 1995. She was the very first grandchild and niece of the Smith-Lewis family. Barry enjoyed laughing and playing with her and they would often dance to all the funky, disco-soul classics including Barry White and one of his favorites from KC and the Sunshine Band, “Get Down Tonight”. He made her laugh seemingly nonstop, and the rest of the family loved to hear her infectious sounds of joy bursting through the halls. He beamed with pride at her graduations. Her mannerisms today are much like that of her father. Barry encouraged her, believed in her and worked hard to steer her in the right direction.
Barry was a man of few words, but when he spoke people listened. He was known to have an entire conversation with just his facial expressions. He and his daughter Alexis were the masters of this silent communication art form. He constantly kept his family laughing with his witty humor. Whenever he got together with his two youngest siblings Kori and Jon, they filled up the room with loud, gut-busting laughter. He was the family’s silent protector. The family always joked at how this 6’2” giant could walk up the stairs of the house without making a single sound. One would turn around and Barry appeared seemingly out of nowhere! When asked how he managed to do this, he would simply reply, “I’m a ninjaaaaa”.
Barry despised injustice and would instantly become the Incredible Hulk if anyone messed with his family… or his money. Everyone knew not to get Barry mad or they would feel his wrath. He had many deep, thoughtful conversations with friends and family about the plight of our nation and its leadership, as well as the struggle of Black Men in America. Barry believed in community service, scholarship and brotherly love. With these ideals in mind, in 1992, he and ‘Pop’ became line brothers and members of the Boston Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. He held this honor with tremendous pride.
His career path included reaching some of the most challenged youth of Boston. He spent a few years as an educator in such Boston Public Schools as the Grover Cleveland Middle School and McKinley Middle School. His presence and contributions made an indelible mark, still, his passion was to work with computers. In hopes of pursuing this dream while still being able to provide financially, Barry decided to move from the expensive city of Boston to Douglasville, GA just outside of Atlanta. There he landed many jobs in the field of IT over the years. While in Georgia, he met and became a Godfather figure to both Joshua and Jamesia Beasley. He was a particularly important part of Joshua’s life; he was blessed to be the father figure Joshua never had, and Joshua was the son Barry never had. Barry was proud of Joshua graduating high school and helped him move into his college. He was very eagerly awaiting the day of Joshua’s graduation.
Like all of his siblings, Barry was raised in the church. He, along with Troy and Alan were baptized and active members of St. Paul AME Church in Cambridge, MA. The scripture, “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it,” was a reality for Barry. He continued to trust and believe in Jesus Christ as his Savior in the face of his trials through the years. In his adulthood he reconnected and joined The Historic Charles St. AME Church in Roxbury, MA.
Barry is preceded in death by his step-father, Rev. Murphy A. Lewis. He leaves to mourn and celebrate his memory, his daughter, Alexis Davis Smith, mother, Delores Lewis, father, Alfred Smith (Jackie), sister, Koriana Lewis Bradford (Clint), brothers, Rev. Troy Smith, Alan Smith (Melanie), Jonathan A. J. Lewis, Andrae Kluttz and Marcus Smith, sister-friend, Charlene White, and Godchildren Joshua and Jamesia Beasley. He will be sorely missed by a host of nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins and extended family members, colleagues, neighbors, and dear friends.
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