Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Deacon Wayne Smith, engineer, carpenter and sometime Santa, dies at 73

Published July 7, 2016

ATLANTA—Deacon Wayne D. Smith, of Atlanta, died on June 10. He was 73.

Deacon Wayne D. Smith

Deacon Wayne D. Smith

Born in Sewickley, Pennsylvania, he proudly served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Vietnam and then in the National Guard before embarking on a career in civil engineering. He worked on such notable projects as the underground rail system at Hartsfield International Airport and countless MARTA stations in Atlanta.

Deacon Smith was ordained into the permanent diaconate on June 24, 1989. He served at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus for 25 years.

He and his wife, Pat, restored a Victorian home in Inman Park, where both were active in the neighborhood association from its earliest days. He spearheaded the original effort to save the Edgewood Avenue Trolley Barn and turn it into a community center. His dream came to fruition three weeks before his death when the neighborhood was able to buy the “Barn” from the city and preserve it for community use.

A gifted carpenter, one of his joys was to make wooden toys and baby furniture for his grandchildren and loved ones. This led to a sideline hobby of playing Santa at Atlanta’s shelter for women and children and local schools for children with special needs.

Deacon Smith is survived by his wife of 49 years, Patricia; children, Daniel Smith, Michele E. (Timothy) Palmer, and Maureen C. (Jeffrey Amy) Smith; grandchildren, Timothy P. Palmer, Edward Palmer, Daniel B. Smith, Catherine Amy, Nicole Amy; and brothers, Glenn and Greg Smith.

A funeral Mass was celebrated at the Basilica on Friday, June 17. Deacon Smith will be interred at a later date at Honey Creek Woodlands on the grounds of Holy Spirit Monastery in Conyers.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his name to the Golden Hammer Scholarship Fund at Kennesaw State University, established by the Atlanta chapter of the American Society of Professional Estimators.