Santa Monica community leader and political activist Clyde Smith died Thursday, January 1st, after a brief illness, his family said. He was 62.

Smith was the executive director of the Neighborhood Redevelopment Corporation, a nonprofit organization that worked to rehabilitate hundreds of housing units in Santa Monica for elderly and low-income families.

He also served actively with Westside service organizations, including the Rotary Club of Santa Monica, Santa Monica Red Cross chapter, Pico Neighborhood Association, the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce and Santa Monica College Advisory Board.

Smith, along with former Santa Monica Mayor Nat Trives, co-founded the Martin Luther King, Jr. Westside Coalition and remained an active participant in its work.

At the time of his death, Smith was also chairman of the Salvation Army Corps in Santa Monica.

A USC alumnus, Smith served in the Vietnam War with the U.S. Marine Corps.

Smith loved music and loved to sing, and he regularly attended the Playboy Jazz Festival in Hollywood each year. He was president of the Dave Weston Singers, a local gospel ensemble which performs locally and statewide at civic and religious engagements.

Smith was a church leader and an exemplary family man, his friends said.

He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Rosemary, and their son, Sean; daughter-in-law Elizabeth; and seven grandchildren. Smith’s only daughter, Sterling Tisha, preceded him in death last year.

Friends said Smith will be remembered and missed as the “village wise man who generously shared his counsel, good advice and loving support with all, young and old, who were troubled in spirit or needed to be pointed in the right direction. He gave unselfishly of his time and efforts to make our world a better place.”

A memorial service for Smith is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday, January 10th, at First United Methodist Church, 1008 11th St., Santa Monica. A repast following the service will be in Simkins Hall, in the Shelby Center adjacent to the sanctuary.

In lieu of flowers, Smith’s family says contributions may be made in his memory to the Santa Monica chapter of the Salvation Army.