Obituary of Wayne Smith

Wayne Van Cortlandt Smith, 79, of Scott Twp., died tragically in an automobile accident on June 9.

Born Jan. 29, 1939, in Brooklyn, N.Y., he was the son of the late Wallace Van Cortlandt and Olga Margaret (Theilgard) Smith. Wayne attended Westfield Senior High School and went on to study at Juilliard School in New York. He also trained as a piano technician while working at the Steinway Co. He proudly served in the United States Army Band. Wayne retired from FedEx; however, his lifelong passion was music.

His music career was extensive to say the least. He began as a magnificent bass player and then jazz pianist. Wayne taught at Juilliard School and gave private lessons to students who were enthralled by his teaching abilities. He played at weddings, public concerts, nightclubs and major venues as the featured musician as well as accompanying prominent jazz musicians/vocalists such as Honi Gordon and Spencer Reed. He wrote, produced and released several albums. He was a member of the Lackawanna County Arts, Culture and Education Council. Wayne's most recent musical venue that he truly enjoyed playing every two weeks was the Deerhead Inn, the oldest continuously running jazz club in the country. Crowds of people would come to listen to Wayne play. He also enjoyed cycling, hiking, cross country skiing, traveling, eating, socializing and was an accomplished mechanic.

Surviving are two sisters, Linda Smith and husband, Sam Jungkurth, of Brooklyn, N.Y.; and Elena Mead Slaughter and husband, Jace, of Elkton, Md.; nieces and nephews, Jens and Kirstine Jungkurth; and Jason and Cynthia E. Slaughter; great-nieces and great-nephews.

He was also preceded in death by sister, Karen Erickson.

Three memorial services will be announced and held at later dates in Scranton, Princeton, N.J., and at the Deerhead Inn. Interment will be held at Princeton Cemetery at the convenience of the family.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to any music program of your choice, preferably in a public school.