Cover photo for William Rodney Smith's Obituary
William Rodney Smith Profile Photo
1947 William 2020

William Rodney Smith

May 28, 1947 — August 7, 2020


On August 7, 2020 cradled in the arms of his beloved wife Charmaine Nicole, his grandson Lucas Mason hugging him tight, in his home that he built and loved so much, William “Rod” “Big Rod” Smith headed True North to his final port of call. To know him, no explanation is necessary, if you did not none would ever be possible. William R. Rod “Roddy” Smith was born on May 28, 1947 in Waco Texas Upon his return to Akron to live with his mother Dorothy, and his maternal grandparents Opa and Nonni Vander Linden, he spent his first years in West Akron living in the Firestone mansion gate house. His family then moved to Green,/ Portage Lakes where he remained the rest of his life. Big Rod attended Green high school where he excelled in track and field. Upon graduation from high school, he left for Morehead University in Kentucky where he spent the next three years studying history. And what a history buff he was He served in the Army Reserves stateside for 5 years. He then applied to the Akron Police Department where he served the city as a traffic officer, founding member of the APD swat team, worked in the narcotics division , was one of the founders of APD’s rescue dive team , was a police Gold medal Olympian in power lifting finishing his career in robbery/homicide. He was featured on Cold Case files several times for his crime solving ability. His career spanned 32 years During his career on the date of August 10, 1990 he met who was to be the love of his life, Charmaine (Nikster to Rod) Smith and their incredible love story spanned three decades. They were inseparable and completely devoted to each other and their family during their 30 years together. He finished he stellar career in 2002 and spent the rest of his life with his wife enjoying traveling, riding his harley davidson, scuba diving, enjoying the love of family and friends. He loved hosting parties at his beautiful home with his wife and children always welcoming anyone and everyone who came to the door. He had an amazingly keen sense of art and design ,and was quite proud of designing the home that he and his family lived in. .WRS #504 was a friend to everyone he met. He had charisma, class, charm and respect for each and every person he came in contact with. He had an uncanny ability to draw people close to him. He had no enemies. He was gentle and kind. He was funny and you knew if Big Rod walked into a room, you were in for a good time. He lived his life to the fullest. As Rod would say he lived “large” He was intensely proud of his two son’s Andrew and Joey who followed in his footsteps serving their respective cities of Akron Ohio APD and Bellevue Washington State PD on the swat team , detective bureau and motorcycle brigade. He was present at both of his boy’s swearing in, and pinning their badges on each of them respectively was one of the proudest days of his life. Rod was preceded in death by his Opa and Nonni Vander Linden, and his father Merle Smith He will be forever missed by his adoring wife, and his service dog Sammie Sweetheart HIs mother Dorothy Vander Linden Smith Children Michael (Paula) Lytz, Andrew (Melissa) Smith Stacey (Matt) Lambes Elisa (Jon) Pierson and Joseph (Maddie) S Smith Siblings Pam (Joe) Barkley, Guy (Terri) Smith Cornelius (Linda) Smith Keith (Mel) Mason Kitty (Paul) Graham, Kimberly (Ernie) Mason-Vansaw Linda (Bob) Kurczewski, Burt Mason, Brett Mason, David (Jody) Mason , Adam Mason (deceased) His precious grandchildren Anna, Caroline, Braden, Charlie, Cruz, Lucas, and Nora Sisters and brother in law Michelle (DeVitis) Stephanie & Orlando Rodriguez Many nieces and nephews & countless friends and family. Way too many to list. Special friends Patti and Doc (Parks) Kilgore Frank and Phyllis Zahler Nancy and Larry Stott Terri and Rick Mills Jerry Foys My love is a tall ship I watched helplessly from the rocky shore whilst a million tears flow down my cheek. The cheeks my love so gently kissed I tried with all my strength to pull my tall ship back to shore so that I might climb aboard just one more time and set sail for the next adventure But alas, all I can do is watch as it drifted further and further into the abyss I watched with love that pours forth with every beat of my broken heart It continued to drift further and further away. Love was not enough to battle the raging sea , and the swells are getting higher and higher The salty sea washes away everything on deck I sit alone on the shore and reminisce about the countless voyages I took with my tall ship There are times that the fog and the mist cleared and I got a glimpse of my tall ship and hoped that it had turned it’s giant wheel True North to head back to me But it does not The sun is now setting giving way to a beautiful red sky which casts a calm glow upon this majestic ship It was once so strong We weathered every storm with strength , confidence, courage and endless love But now I fear my tall ship my sweet love that I cannot join you on this final voyage The sun has set, and I have lost sight of my tall ship in the darkness of the night But you, and you alone my love will forever be the captain of my tall ship, the captain of my heart , my soul my very being And faithfully and forever , I will be you’re first mate and I will join you some day MiAmor’, and I will love you through eternity and beyond. Sail away to the Heavenly port of call I love you Rod was baptized at and a member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Roman Catholic Church (Father Carley) and the FOP #7 Countless other charities A special thank you to Serenity Hospice for their in home gentle care for my husband. A graveside service will be held on Friday, August 14, 2020 at 1:30 PM at Holy Cross Akron, 100 East Waterloo Road. A procession to Holy Cross will form at Hummel Funeral Home 500 E. Exchange St. at 1 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Akron FOP Lodge 7, 2610 Ley Dr, Akron, OH 44319 or Immaculate Heart of Mary Chapel, 2935 Chenoweth Ave Akron, OH. 44312. View full obituary at

Graveside Service : August 14, 2020 1:30 pm - December 28, 2020 2:00 pm

Holy Cross Akron
100 East Waterloo Road
Akron, OH 44319

(330) 724-1297

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Friday, August 14, 2020

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Holy Cross Akron (East Waterloo Road, East Waterloo Road

100 E Waterloo Rd, Akron, OH 44319

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