Linda Dianne Smith of Lawrenceville, NJ died Thursday, January 6, 2022 at Capital Health Medical Center, Trenton. She was 68.
Born in Fredericksburg, Virginia on August 29th, 1953 as the only child of the late Reverend Edward and Etta Smith, the family moved to Princeton, NJ in 1961, and later settled in Lawrenceville in 1968.
Linda was a graduate of Lawrence High School and Hampton University (then Hampton Institute) in Hampton, Va. After giving birth in June of 1975 to her first child Thulani, in Richmond, Va, Linda then moved to San Francisco where she taught early childhood education. Linda then moved back to New Jersey in 1980 where she gave birth to Shani, her second child, in September of that year. After working with her father in First Baptist Church of Princeton, Linda began a career in computer programming for the state of New Jersey. Linda began a second act as an accountant for RCN where she retired after suffering a stroke.
A lifelong advocate of social justice, civic duty and service to others, Linda was part of the inaugural class of the newly desegregated John Witherspoon Junior High (now Princeton Middle School) where, fifty years later, she gave an instructional speech outlining the challenges of being an integrating student during the Civil Rights movement. During her teenage years, Linda carried and helped grow her parents’ legacy by operating the first federally subsidized daycare for working parents, founded by her own working parents. As an adult, Linda was a mentor to the La Debut Debutantes of Mercer County, NJ; a conflict resolution mentor in Lawrence Township Public Schools; a scholastic financial aid advisor for rising seniors in the Mercer County area; a volunteer choir director for St John’s Baptist Church; a volunteer with Jerusalem Baptist Church’s homeless feeding and outreach; a fiercely loyal friend and staunch advocate for justice.
Linda is survived by her daughters Thulani and Shani, grandson Avery, several cousins and adopted nieces, nephews, sisters, and brothers.
Funeral service will be 10am Monday, January 17, 2022 at Hughes Funeral Home, 324 Bellevue Ave., Trenton, NJ 08618. Calling hour will be 9am until the time of service. Interment will be private.