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Editorial - Passing of Former Publisher & Friend, Everett W. Smith



The Purple Heart Hall of Honor Genesis Group – Everett Smith,

NYS Senator William J. Larkin Jr., Joseph Farina, Don Hughes



We are saddened to have learned of the passing this week of Everett Smith, Publisher of the former Sentinel and Orange County Post, and a respected member of the greater Orange County, Washingtonville and New Windsor communities. Everett was a good man, with a long history of community and national service. Having been a Medic in the Service he became one of the founding members of the Purple Heart Hall of Honor in New Windsor. He was passionate about giving news coverage about Police, Fire and Armed Services as well as community fundraising groups and charities as well as keeping a watchful eye on politics of local towns and Orange County. And he was obsessive about making sure every fact was correct and true.


Everett was a good but stern boss during the almost 4 years I was Editor of the Orange County Post for him. When I learned of his death from a friend and co-worker the other night, I immediately had a flood of images of the times he was happy, laughing, telling jokes, especially proud of his part in establishing the Purple Heart Hall of Honor and of his special friendships with Supervisor George Green and fellow Genesis members Don Hughes, Senator Bill Larkin, and Newburgh philanthropist Bill Kaplan.


Everett did not hand out compliments lightly. When after numerous illnesses and bouts of COVID, and like other publications major losses of the advertisers that keep a paper going, he closed the shop, he called me the next morning. While noone could miss that there was a financial struggle since he kept the weekly ad income and cost balance on a blackboard, picking up a piece of chalk from time to time to change the balance of earnings and losses, we were still all upset at the suddenness of the closing. I'm sure that with his passion for spreading important news for 40 year it broke a part of his heart. But to this day and forward I will always remember and appreiate his last words to me, "You were a good editor!" I hope and think he would be proud of the continuing work that I do for the Courier. I learned a lot from him!


Everett was more than a boss to us. We were all family,. His strength, courage and resilience through illness after illness was and will always be an inspiration. We all knew both his astute and sometimes critical outer nature, his strong ethics behind any frown as well as the soft heart beneath, and all loved him.


Rest in peace Everett!

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From an earlier story about Everett on the Purple Heart Hall of Honor website


Everett W. Smith

I wore the uniform, but I never fought in war. I often thought about my 22 year old uncle who died on the beach at Normandy, about friends who died in Viet Nam, and about guys I trained with who were not as lucky as I and got sent to war and never came back alive or had been seriously injured. I thought about all of them many times during the eleven, often frustrating, years that I worked with my Genesis Group partners to establish the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor. To me it is extremely important that we preserve the memory of each of our Purple Heart recipients, that we honor them and that we appreciate the enormous sacrifices they made. It is also important, through the Hall of Honor, that we teach our young people and future generations about the horrors that Purple Heart recipients endured, about the sacrifices made to protect the freedoms most of us take for granted in our daily lives. We must remember that our freedoms have not come free. An enormous price has been paid by so many servicemen and women to protect them.

EVERETT W. SMITH

A native of Suffolk County, Long Island, N.Y., Everett Smith began a career that has spanned forty-nine years in the newspaper business with the Long Island Daily Press. In 1979 he and his wife Mary founded The Sentinel, a twice-weekly newspaper that serves most of eastern Orange County, N.Y. In 1990 he founded Sentinel Printing Services, Inc., a commercial printing operation. He continues to serve as Publisher of The Sentinel, with his sons Michael and Steven serving as Associate Publishers and continues to operate the printing operation with his sons.


The Sentinel has been a crusading newspaper since it was founded and has always been a strong supporter of our military and especially war veterans. In 1995 Smith received a letter to the editor from Patric Morrison, a reader from Cornwall, suggesting that a facility honoring recipients of the Purple Heart be established locally. Smith was enthusiastic about the idea. He called Lt. Gen. James D. Hughes, who shared his enthusiasm. They we soon joined by State Senator William J. Larkin and veterans advocate Joseph Farina. The four men, later to be known as the Genesis Group, worked for eleven years on the project until the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor was established in November 2006.


Everett Smith continues to be active with the Hall of Honor, serving as Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Purple Heart Hall of Honor, Inc. and as Chairman of the Public Relations and Publicity Committee.

Smith enlisted in the Army National Guard in 1964. He received his basic training in Fort Polk, Louisiana and received his training for the Army Medical Corps at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Following training he served with the 42nd Infantry Division, 142nd Armored Battalion NYNG as a Senior Medical Specialist E5 until he was honorably discharged in 1970.


Smith later served on the Board of Directors of McQuade Children Services for twenty-two years including a term as President of the Board. He is also a Honorary Member of the New Windsor Volunteer Ambulance Corps, a past Chairman of the Putnam County Chapter of the American Red Cross, past President of the New Windsor Business Association, member of the Advisory Committee of the Orange County Chapter of the American Cancer Society, member of the New York Press Association, and a charter member of the New Windsor/Cornwall Optimist Club.


Smith is the recipient of several awards including the Walter P. Kunowski Award from the local chapter of the Catholic War Veterans for community action, the LCDR Nicholas Brooks Award for community service from the Town of New Windsor, the Compte de Grasse Award from the Newburgh Development Association for service to the economic development of the city of Newburgh, the City Managers Award for special achievement and service to the City of Newburgh, a New York State Legislative Resolution citing dedication shown for the benefit of others, among other awards.


Smith resides in New Windsor, N.Y. with his wife Mary with whom he has been married for thirty-eight years. They have three children and two grandchildren.

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