Memorial services for Charles Lee Smith, a classic liberal activist whose hero was Tom Paine and whose passion was pamphleteering, will be held at 3 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 12, at the Friends Meeting House, Walnut and Vine, in Berkeley. He died at his Berkeley home on Jan. 7 at 84.
His wife Anne said that Charlie, as we all called him, fell in December and never fully recovered. She brought him home under hospice care on Jan. 5 and she and his two sons Greg and Jay were with him his last three days.
Charlie first contacted me in the early days of the Guardian in the late l960s. I soon realized that he was my kind of liberal, always working tirelessly, cheerfully, and quietly to make things better for people and their communities. He was a remarkable man with a remarkable range of interests and causes that he pursued his entire life.
He campaigned endlessly for causes ranging from the successful fight to stop Pacific Gas and Electric Co. from building a nuclear power plant on Bodega Bay to integrating the Berkeley schools to third brake lights for cars to one-way tolls on bridges to disaster preparedness to traffic safety and circles to public power and keep tabs on PG@E and big business shenanigans.