Jerald ‘Jerry’ Smith-Niles
Jerald “Jerry” Smith-Niles of Milford, New Hampshire, passed away at Southern NH Hospital following a short illness Tuesday, October 6th at the age of 57. Jerry was born on January 15th, 1963 to parents Charles Smith of Nashua and Claire Place of Milford, New Hampshire. After graduating from Milford High School in 1981, Jerry spent many years chasing his dreams in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and New York City–not to mention falling in love in Paris, France–before returning back home to New Hampshire.
Before moving west, Jerry was very active in the Milford Stage Festival starring in leading roles in plays such as ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ and not long after co-creating the New Hampshire Stage Company. His love and talent for theatre and song were apparent from a young age and never abated. After his education in Pittsburgh and in search of bigger dreams, Jerry moved into an apartment in the heart of Manhattan’s theater district where he stayed for more than 20 years, co-creating the off-Broadway New York Theatre Company. Jerry was a natural actor and gifted lifelong playwright, penning many plays, including ‘Taking the Plunge’, ‘Inside the Honey Jar’, and many more. While in NY Jerry started a wellness center for people to feel safe, Brighid’s Well was one of his many projects that displayed his heart and his caring for others.
When not pursuing his stage career, he was a customer-favorite upscale waiter and bartender, culminating in his designing and managing of a hip 1950s themed bar in Brooklyn, New York. He designed a line of beachwear that was featured on a popular TV shopping network and appeared in an episode of the Japanese TV show ‘Silent Library’. He ran a bed-and-breakfast and worked years of retail, but still always had time for his cats Herbie and Pippen. When Jerry wasn’t looking on the bright side, he was finding a silver lining. Those who spent any time at all with Jerry immediately recognized his loving yet jovial nature and few will ever forget his chorus of heartwarming laughter.
Jerry is survived by his brother and sister-in-law Jeff Smith and Anne Tranchemontagne of Milford, NH; his sister and brother-in-law Laurel and David Deschenes of Nashua, NH; his sister-in-law Teresa Smith of Pittsburgh PA; his stepsisters and stepbrother-in-laws Cheryl and Bruce Fane of Arlington, TX, and Kathie and Bernie Beagle of Pflugerville, TX; his stepbrother and stepsister-in-law Michael and Melanie Campbell of Midland, MI; his nephews and nieces Elliot Smith and Julie Brown of Boston, MA, Courtney Smith and Nicola Razumic-Rushin of Pittsburgh, PA, Joshua and Micah Smith of Caldwell, ID, Benjamin Smith of Plattsburgh, NY, Jacob Michaud of Manchester, NH, and Mary Michaud of Fort Worth, TX. Jerry also leaves behind step nieces and nephews, cousins, and many dear friends that he considered to be family. He is preceded in death by his parents Charles and Carol Smith, Claire and Lyle Place, his brother Thomas Smith, and his stepbrother Richard Turcotte II.
A Graveside Service will be held on Friday, October 16, 2020 at Riverside Cemetery, Milford NH. Attendance will be limited to close friends and family due to Covid 19. Arrangements are in the care of Smith & Heald Funeral Home, 63 Elm Street, Milford. To share a memory or offer a condolence, please go to www.smith-heald.com.