SMITH – Norman Joseph Smith, Esq., Age 82. He procrastinated long enough, (having put it off much longer than he should) and finally completed his life on this Earth on Sunday, June 28, 2015. Norman Joseph Smith was born in Orlando, Florida on June 28, 1933, the son of Horace Y. and Vivienne L. Smith. Except for college and military service, he lived in Central Florida all of his life. He practiced law for over fifty years, and often said that if anyone wanted to say anything good about him after he died, he wished it would be simply, “He was a good lawyer”.
He graduated from St. Cloud High School in June, 1951, hitched a ride with a family friend to Tallahassee and entered Florida State University, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in 1955. He was a member of the drum section of the original FSU marching band, and has been a staunch Seminole Supporter ever since. He attended the University of Florida Law School and graduated in February, 1956. He entered the United States Army and completed the Judge Advocate General’s course at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. He served four and a half years in the Army JAG, leaving active service at the rank of Captain. He was admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, and United States Court of Military Appeals. After returning to civilian life, he practiced with an old time, venerable law firm in Titusville for over four years. Then he went “back home” to Osceola County to practice law, live and enjoy life. He was the managing partner in the county’s largest law firm for many years, and practiced solo until just before his death.
He was the Attorney for the County School Board for over seventeen years during a period of unprecedented growth of population and building, and dramatic changes in the law governing schools. He served as an officer, including President, of the Florida School Board Attorney’s Association during a very tumultuous time. In his two major positions as a Civil Attorney and School Attorney, he was uniquely able to see, participate in and affect the transformation of Osceola County from a small, laid back, almost sleepy cattle ranching, citrus growing community to the sophisticated, urban environment it is today.
He was an avid fisherman who wadded the shores of Lake Toho and our other lakes as a young man when they were pristine, pure and full of fish. He spent many hours on our central Florida lakes with his wife Nancy and several of their other friends. He loved nature and the outdoors of Osceola County, and often yearned for “the way things were”.
He is survived by his wife Nancy Anne Young Smith, two daughters,, Karen Kay (Tracy) Clayton and Malinda Lee (Dan) Redcloud, son Jay Norman (Lori) Smith, five grandchildren, one great-grandchild his good and helpful step-son, Charles Clayton “Clay” Selfridge, and a group of really nice young people he referred to as ‘step-grandchildren’, and a long loving extended family. He was preceded in death by his lifelong friend and mother of his children, Grace Elgin Schatzman and his sister Ivah Lee “Bootsie” White. He leaves behind his favorite grilling and cruising friends and neighbors extraordinaire, Julie and Jim Waldbeiser.
Funeral Services will be held Tuesday, July 7, 2015 at 11 a.m., at First United Methodist Church in Kissimmee with Interment to follow in Rose Hill Cemetery with full Military Honors courtesy of Osceola County Veterans Council. Visitation will be held Monday, July 6 from 5 to 8 p.m., at Osceola Memory Gardens Funeral Home in Kissimmee. Contributions may be made to American Cancer Society Kissimmee Chapter of Relay for Life.
Services under the direction of Osceola Memory Gardens Cemetery, Funeral Home and Crematory 1717 Old Boggy Creek Road Kissimmee, Florida 407-847-2494