American Patriotic 10

Rex C. Smith

November 22, 1938 ~ June 19, 2022 (age 83)


Rex C. Smith, passed away on June 19, 2022.


Rexford (Rex) Chapman Smith born in Washington, D.C. on November 22, 1938 to Rexford Chapman Smith, Sr. and Kathryn Coe (Smith) Creech. Rex served in the United States Army Reserves from 1956 to 1973. He earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in Criminology at The University of Maryland. In 1964 Rex co-founded Boy’s and Girl’s Homes of Montgomery County to provide what was then a new concept: safe, loving, group homes for young people in need.


Rex began working for the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services from its inception in 1967 and served as its Director for over ten years. He founded the American Justice Institute where he continued to fight for justice for non-violent offenders. He returned to lead Hearts and Homes for Youth (formerly Boy’s and Girl’s Homes of Montgomery County) as President in 2006.


It is somewhat apropos that he passed on Father’s Day. Rex had four children of his own but was a father figure and positive influence for thousands of children over several decades.


Rex was preceded in death by his wife Hellen Patricia Smith.  He is survived by his older sister Barbara Smith MacDonald, his sons Todd Addison Smith and his wife Teresa Lynn Smith, his former wife Karen Kelley Irwin and their children Gregg Michael Smith, and Kelly Kathryn Smith Peñaloza and her husband René Peñaloza. He is also survived by eight grandchildren (Skylan Smith, Shae Bella Smith, Rexford A. Smith, Cassiopeia Smith Walker, Melinda Louise Smith Fuentes, Kathryn Peñaloza, Leyla Peñaloza, Conner Smith and three great grandchildren, Elliott Fuentes, Darwin Fuentes, and Zoey Allen.


Visitation will be held on Sunday, June 26, from 3 – 7 pm at the Donaldson Funeral Home, P.A., 313 Talbott Ave, Laurel, MD 20707.  A funeral service will be held on Monday, June 27, at 10:30 am inside the chapel of the Donaldson Funeral Home, P.A.


In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to Hearts and Homes for Youth in Rex’s memory. 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Rex C. Smith, please visit our floral store.

Memorial Tree
A Memorial Tree was planted for Rex

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June 26, 2022

3:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Donaldson Funeral Home, P.A.
313 Talbott Avenue
Laurel, MD 20707

Funeral Service
June 27, 2022

10:30 AM
Chapel at Donaldson Funeral Home, P.A.
313 Talbott Avenue
Laurel, MD 20707

A graveside service will follow the funeral service

Fort Lincoln Cemetery
3401 Bladensburg Road
Brentwood, MD 20722

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