Walter Smerconish, 88, a long-serving Bucks County educator and the father of radio and TV host Michael Smerconish, died at Doylestown Hospital on Thursday, Oct. 11, according to a local funeral home and the Intelligencer.
Mr. Smerconish, of Audenried, Pa., was a 1947 graduate of West Hazleton High School. He studied at what was formerly known as Bloomsburg State Teachers College, now Bloomsburg University, and Lehigh University, and served in the Korean War, according to an obituary posted by Joseph A. Fluehr III Funeral Home.
He settled in Doylestown with his then-wife, Florence, and spent more than three decades in the Central Bucks School District, becoming a social studies teacher and later a guidance counselor, according to the funeral home obituary. Mr. Smerconish also enjoyed fly-fishing and football, was involved with a number of local organizations, and also served as a football referee, according to his 2010 Central Bucks-Central Bucks West Hall of Fame induction description.
"He wasn't my guidance counselor, but I remember him as someone who was always very, very kind," Central Bucks West principal Tim Donovan, a former student of the high school, told the Intelligencer. "He always had a smile on his face. I remember him being a jovial guy. I played varsity football at West when he was announcing the games, and we always joked he was the voice of God."
In addition to his ex-wife and son Michael, Mr. Smerconish is survived by another son, Walter; a sister, Anna Hauze; and eight grandchildren, according to the funeral home's obituary.
Michael Smerconish, who writes a column for the Inquirer and Daily News and hosts a weekly Saturday CNN show, posted on social media Saturday morning that he would be absent from the morning broadcast "because I lost my most most loyal viewer on Thursday."
"Michael lost his father yesterday," read a message on the host's Facebook page. "He thanks the many of you who have posted or sent condolences."
Smerconish told the Intelligencer his father died after a fall.
"He was a big believer in paying one's dues to your community," he told the publication. "Dad was a believer in making sure you contributed to your community."
A private interment is planned. Memorial donations may be made to the Mike Pettine Foundation, 36 Heritage Lane, New Britain, Pa. 18901, according to the funeral home.