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SOU emeritus professor Joseph Smith passed away Jan. 5

Retired SOU business professor Joseph Smith passes away at age 98

Emeritus professor Joseph Raymond Smith, who taught business at SOU for 26 years, passed away on Jan. 5 at age 98.

Smith joined the faculty in 1964 of what was then Southern Oregon College. He taught courses in accounting and taxation until his retirement as an emeritus professor in 1990.

Smith was born in Magrath, Alberta, Canada in 1921, and graduated from high school in Salt Lake City, Utah before joining the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II. He graduated first in his class at the communication school and served as an electronics instructor, earning the rank of sergeant.

He volunteered for Mormon missionary work after the war in southern Brazil, then married his first wife, Alice Zemp, and earned his master’s degree in accounting from Brigham Young University. He and his growing family relocated to Hawaii, where he was one of the original faculty members at Brigham Young University-Hawaii in Laie, Oahu, chairing the Division of Business.

He was a driving force behind the creation and founding of the Polynesian Cultural Center while in Hawaii, and served as a bishop of the Laie ward.

Smith received his doctorate in business from Colorado State College and relocated his family to Ashland in 1964 to join the Southern Oregon College faculty. He married Carolina Maria Timor in 1982.

Smith engaged in various commercial enterprises – both brick-and-mortar and online – in addition to his teaching. His business pursuits ranged from carpentry and textiles to education and tax consulting – he earned the status of an IRS enrolled agent. He was an accomplished carpenter and took great pleasure in the activities of rural life.

Smith is survived by his spouse, Carolina Smith; his children Gordon (Linda) Smith, Kent Smith, Jorae (Mark) Scofield, Loretta Backstrom, Raymond (Georgina) Smith, Shari Griffin and Yazmine (Mike) Arringtion; 14 grandchildren; and 14 great grandchildren.

Funeral and memorial services are being arranged by Litwiller-Simonsen Funeral Home in Ashland. Visit the funeral home’s website for viewing, memorial service and burial information. Flowers and condolences can be delivered to Litwiller-Simonsen Funeral Home at 1811 Ashland Street, Ashland, Oregon 97520. Alternatively, memorial donations can be sent to the Dr. Joseph R. Smith Endowed Scholarship Fund at Brigham Young University-Hawaii.