Hundreds filled the pews at Christ Lutheran Church to celebrate the life of former Santa Clarita mayor, Clyde Smyth. Hailed as a community legend, residents remember him as Hart school district superintendent, others recognize him as President of the SCV Boys and Girls Club, yet most respect him as the only father and son team to hold the office of SCV mayor.
Congressman Howard “Buck” McKeon acknowledged the many accolades of Dr. Hamilton Clyde Smyth.
“With all that Clyde did in community and in his occupation, he never forgot that, he never forgot his home,” said McKeon.
Dr. Smyth, a U.S. Army veteran, served in the the Korean conflict. Following in his military footsteps, Smyth’s first son, Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Colin Smyth, remembers the qualities his dad exemplified and expected of his sons.
“Be better than good enough. Don’t measure yourself by what other people think or do. Measure yourself by what you are capable of doing. Don’t be sorry, be better. Stand up for yourself. Stand up for what’s right. Look out for your brother. Respect your mother. Respect other people because they are people,” reflects Colin Smyth.
California State Assemblyman Cameron Smyth, who shares the title of former mayor of Santa Clarita, remembered experiences with his dad including running for mayor, getting his driver’s license, and their love of sports.
“We rejoice in my father’s life and the standard he set for all who knew him,” said Cameron Smyth. “He gave everything he had. Quote: he left it all out on the field.”
Smyth’s wife, Sue, and five grandchildren sat in the front row with other close family members. City Council members, Marsha McLean, Laurene Weste, and Bob Kellar joined many civic leaders, veterans, school board officials, family, and friends to say a final goodbye to the former mayor (1997) and Hart school district superintendent of 18 years (1974-1992).
In 2007, Smyth was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. On Jan. 14 of this year, he suffered a massive stroke and was hospitalized. About 9:30pm Sunday January 22, with his wife Sue by his bedside at Henry Mayo Memorial Hospital, he went to sleep and did not wake up.
“My dad’s last conscious memory was making plans for Japanese food with my mom, and then he went to sleep and never he woke up. Again, we could all be so lucky,” shares son, Assemblyman Cameron Smyth.
Clyde Smyth was 80 years old.