1953 - 2020
BORN JULY 19, 1953 | DIED JULY 7, 2020

Jeffrey Alan Smith, a Palos Verdes Sea King legend, died on July 7th 2020 after a battle with cancer.
Jeff was born in Columbus, Ohio to Jim and Sally Smith in 1953, two years after a new coach, by the name of Woody Hayes, took over the Ohio State football team (this will become important later in Jeff's story). He grew up in both Columbus and Cleveland before the family moved west to Scottsdale, Arizona and finally to the Palos Verdes Peninsula where Jim and Sally built their dream home to raise their family.
Jeff attended Palos Verdes High School (Class of 1971) where he was a three-sport athlete, lettering in football (an All-League selection as a defensive back), basketball, and baseball. He moved onto U.C.L.A. becoming a Bruin and playing both rugby and football, excelling at both as a fierce competitor with an extraordinary work ethic. As pictured above, he was one of the Captains (number 42) of the 1976 Rose Bowl Champion Bruins, defeating the #1 ranked and undefeated Ohio State Buckeyes coached by… Woody Hayes (his last appearance as a coach in the Rose Bowl). Jeff earned a degree in Kinesiology and went on to become a college football coach. He coached for the University of Hawaii and was the defensive backs coach and defensive coordinator for Santa Monica and Pasadena City Colleges as well as Occidental College.
When his Dad, Jim, started his own consulting business, Jeff left college coaching to follow his Dad's career path becoming a business recruiter. Unfortunately, Jim died of cancer and Jeff tried to continue the business. Eventually, he went to work for Union Bank as a recruiter hiring hundreds of people, principally at the executive level. For almost the next two decades, Jeff worked for various banks and credit unions ultimately achieving the position as the head of Recruitment and Employee Relations at his last job. Jeff was an ethical businessman and he built teams that helped each other and did a phenomenal job at customer service because he cared about people.
He happily retired in 2009 and enjoyed spending time with his wife Gloria and his two daughters, Kiley and Sally. Jeff took that work ethic and his intense loyalty to ensure that others were taken care of before himself and drove more miles and attended more volleyball, basketball, and softball games than can be counted. He supported his wife in her family business and other work, as well as his daughters' dreams of competing at sports and gaining college degrees. He often said that he would never trade the quality time he spent with his family supporting them through some formative years for any business career.
In the Spring of 2019, Jeff received a diagnosis of Stage 4 prostate cancer. He tried treatment, but the cancer finally did what many a competitor couldn't, it overwhelmed his defenses and he passed away just shy of his 67th birthday. Jeff died late into the night of July 7th with his family surrounding him after they cared for him so carefully and lovingly for many weeks.
Jeff was preceded in death by his Dad Jim and his Mom Sally, as well as his grandparents. He is survived by his wife of 27 years Gloria, his two daughters, Kiley and Sally, and his two brothers Bruce and Brian. He also had 12 nieces and 5 nephews that all cherished Uncle Jeff. Jeff will be laid to rest at Green Hills Memorial Park in San Pedro near his parents.
A celebration of his life will take place soon. For now, if everybody would just be like Jeff, giving people the dignity and respect they deserve and holding them accountable to their actions, his legacy will continue. He did his job as a son, husband, father, brother, uncle, and friend to many… well. He did his job well.
Published by The Beach Reporter on Jul. 22, 2020.
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11 Entries
Pat & Harry Mar
July 18, 2021
Jeff's accomplishments as a student/athlete at UCLA put him in the Hall of Fame! He was not recruited for either football or rugby but became a captain, starter and outstanding player in both. No on covered kicks like Jeff throwing his body into players fearlessly. We love you Jeff and send our prayers to your family.
Mike Pavich
July 18, 2021
Great leader on our 1975 football team and rose bowl victory. You couldn’t not play and push yourself to the max when Jeff was setting the example of what it takes on the practice field and game days to be a winner. Love to the family ...Jeff will be missed by all of his Bruin family
Robin Kezirian
November 9, 2020
Jeff was a good friend of my brother Ed and of the entire Hayduk family. He was an inspiration to me on the gridiron, but his true greatness lived inside in his strong character. Rest in peace my friend.
Tom Hayduk
August 1, 2020
July 31, 2020
Rest in peace dear friend and teammate....your fire and intensity covering kicks amazed us all!!!
His devotion to the team and teammates was inspirational...Cheers and aloha
Mike Pavich
July 30, 2020
I was blessed to be a member of the 1976 Rose Bowl Team pictured in Jeff's obituary. He was a great teammate and friend. My sincere condolences to his wife and kids. What a blessing to have a father of his integrity and love for others. May he be in The Presence of The Lord. If there are any services or memorials planned, I would appreciate knowing about them. Patrick "Alley Cat" Schmidt, UCLA Bruins. I loved the man.
Patrick M. Schmidt
July 29, 2020
One tough guy with a heart of gold.
Barry Axelrod
July 27, 2020
Play with him at UCLA was a great guy very determined that being said he was a wild man on the field and I a nice guy off
Patrick Sweetland
July 27, 2020
Captain Jeff Smith was a great football team mate at UCLA
Tim Warren
July 27, 2020
He was one class act. A great guy..
Rick Page
July 22, 2020
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