Charles Henry Smith JrJune 29, 1921 ~ July 24, 2017 (age 96)
Charles Henry (Bee) Smith, Jr., 96, died July 24, 2017 of complications from leukemia at his home in Middleburg, with his wife Regina by his side. Born in Alexandria, he spent much of his life there, operating an investment business. He attended Episcopal High School and Washington & Lee University before enlisting in the Army Air Corps during World War II. After the war he married Babbette Baker, and settled in Denver, Colorado. Upon returning to Virginia in 1954, he established several businesses, including an insurance brokerage and property management company. He described himself as a dabbler in real estate, at a time when suburban land was for sale by the acre and not by the square foot. He was a partner in the development of Landmark Center, then the largest suburban shopping center in the Washington area. He and his partners acquired the Storm Farm, where the first commercial buildings in Tysons Corner were developed by Westgate Corporation, in which he was a shareholder.
He was founder and president of Alexandria Cablevision, the city’s first cable television franchise, now Comcast. He served as chairman of First Federal Savings & Loan of Alexandria, and his combined service as a member of the board of Alexandria National Bank and its successor First American Bank spanned more than 30 years. He was also a board member of Greater Washington Investors, Inc.
Throughout his life he had a commitment to public service. He was president of Alexandria Hospital, and served on the boards of St. Stephens School and St. Agnes School before their merger, and Goodwin House. He also served on the vestry and as senior warden at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Alexandria. His love of trees and flowers led to service on the board of the American Horticultural Society. His greatest satisfaction came as rector and board member of Norfolk State University, where there is a dormitory bearing his name.
He is survived by his second wife of 25 years, Regina Jayne Smith, and by two children, Babette Elise Smith and Charles Henry Smith III (Karen Kostyal), and his grandson William Andrew Smith. His first marriage ended in divorce. A third child, William Wellford Smith, died in 1968.
A memorial service will be held at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 105 East Washington St, Middleburg, VA at 2:00 pm on August 24. In lieu of flowers, a contribution can be made to the American Horticultural Society or a charity of your choice.