Richard J. Smith (1944-2018)



PAW Memorial

Rick died November 8, 2018. His family held a private service in Taos County, New Mexico.
Rick was in the first graduating class of Albuquerque’s Manzano High School, where he was student body president. At Princeton he majored politics, spent a year on the WPRB staff, belonged to Whig-Clio, and was treasurer of Cloister Inn’s board of trustees.
In 1969 Rick earned a law degree at the University of Texas. He spent the next 44 years as a lawyer, state and federal prosecutor, and federal administrative law judge, retiring in 2013.

He is survived by wife Layne Vickers Smith, son Todd Torkelson, sister Judy Proffitt, and brother David Smith, to all of whom the Class extends condolences.


Rick's obituary is in the Santa Fe New Mexican

Classmate Memories

Neil Bloomfield.

Yes may he rest in peace! i am remembering many great weekends partying with Rick (and many others) at Cloister Inn! The good old days, as they say.


John Davenport.

Rick and I were close friends and fellow officers at Cloister and that friendship continued when I moved to Albuquerque to work at Sandia Labs as a newly minted electrical engineer. Rick was off in Texas for law school but I saw him when he came home for visits; and his mom and dad were most gracious and had me to their home on many occasions. Most memorable for me was sitting in their living room in July, 1969, watching Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin do their thing.
I last saw Rick six or seven years ago when Susan and I settled into a little "casita" for three weeks in Santa Fe, a place we had loved since our time in Albuquerque. I contacted him and we had lunch on Canyon Road. A night or two later Susan and I met him and Layne for dinner at one of his favorite restaurants but not, unfortunately, The Compound (which we knew quite well). We all quickly became fast friends (I hadn't met Layne and Susan hadn't met either) and Rick led the story-telling as raconteur-in-chief.

In the lead-up to our 50th I begged and pleaded with Rick to attend, but he had a prior commitment that he couldn't break; so I never saw him again.


The two pictures at the top are from the Freshman Herald and the Nassau Herald. The picture below is from the Santa Fe New Mexican obituary.