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Samuel C. Smith Jr., 76, diligent mailman

Customers could set their watches by his arrival.

MAYBE SAM SMITH was familiar with the Postal Service credo: "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."

Whether he knew it or not, he lived it.

Sam was a letter carrier in Southwest Philadelphia, where his customers swore they could set their watches by his arrival with the mail.

"Many joked about how he was the only letter-carrier that no matter how hot the summer sun blazed, he never broke a sweat while in complete uniform from top to bottom with long-sleeve shirt and tie and shoes militarily spit-shined daily," his family said in a tribute.

Samuel C. Smith Jr., who learned to be sharp as a veteran of the Army's legendary 101st Airborne Division, and a devoted family man, died Dec. 13. He was 76 and lived in South Philadelphia.

Sam worked for the U.S. Postal Service for 30 years, working out of the Schuylkill Station, and received six awards over the years for excellence of service.

"He was loved and respected by the many businesses, neighbors and friends made over the years along his daily traveled route," his family said.

Sam was born in Philadelphia to Samuel Smith and Emma Williams. He attended Bok Vocational High School.

He married Bessie Smith on July 15, 1961, and entered the Army. He served in the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Ky., for three years.

"Sam was a very private man of few words, but his actions spoke volumes," his family said. "He was a devoted, loving husband and father . . . who always provided nothing but the best for his family.

"He was there for his family in any way that was needed, no questions asked, and wanting nothing in return. Never wanting the attention on himself, he always put his family first."

His family said Sam was "the best example of what a husband and father should be. His unconditional love, structure, support and guidance by example resonate in us and reflect in our families.

"With deepest love and admiration, he will be sadly missed, but never forgotten. For us, he is immortal as he walks through our thoughts, and lives in our hearts forevermore."

Besides his wife, he is survived by a son, Samuel; a daughter, Lynda Staton; two sisters, Ida and Juanita, and four grandchildren.

Services: Were privately held at Mount Peace Cemetery in Lawnside, N.J.