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William Paul Smith

Lifelong Claremont resident, retired police officer, devoted father

William Paul Smith died October 21 surrounded by his two children, sister, family and close friends. He was 57 years old.

A lifelong Claremonter, he was born to parents James Rankin Smith and Edith Kay Otis Smith on June 21, 1962 at Pomona Valley Hospital.

He grew up with his parents and older sister Deborah on Marylind Avenue in Claremont, where he remained for the rest of his life.

He graduated from Claremont High School in 1980, and from the University of La Verne in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. While in college he studied abroad in Greece. Interestingly, he was in the same ULV graduating class as his late mother, Kay, who earned her master’s degree in counseling.

Mr. Smith joined the Claremont Police Department in 1986. He was promoted to agent in 1994, and worked as a field training officer, background investigator and detective.

“My dad was known as one of the best training officers in the field,” his son Grant said. “He was really hard, but really good, one of those who if you survived him, you knew you would make it.”

He retired from the CPD in 2003.

After retiring he would often gather for coffee and discussions with his fellow retired officers. He also had breakfast dates with his sister every Friday morning, and saw his daughter and three granddaughters every week for a standing dinner date.

His biggest passion was being a police officer, and he was very proud of his service.

He loved mountain biking, running marathons, Nascar racing and spending time with his grandchildren. He also loved watching the Cooking Channel, which was on constantly in his home, his daughter said.

Mr. Smith is survived by his children, Grant William Smith and Jordyn Nicole Smith, her fiancée Eric Eichhorst and their three daughters, Elise Marie, Brooklyn Taylor and Charlotte Grayce; and his sister, Deborah Lorane (Smith) Contreras.

A private memorial service is planned for December.