Cover photo for Kevin Michael Smith's Obituary
Kevin Michael Smith Profile Photo

Kevin Michael Smith

d. October 27, 2014

SMITH, Kevin Michael of Dedham, died on October 27, 2014 at the age of 59.

Beloved husband for 35 years of Mitchell Adams. Loving brother to: Gerald of North Weymouth, David of Ipswich, Peter of Milford, Wayne of Westwood, and Brian of Needham.

Born in West Roxbury, Kevin was the fourth of six boys. He showed unique leadership in the family for a middle child, providing the support, encouragement, and love of a father to his two younger brothers, Wayne and Brian.

Kevin excelled in school and graduated from Catholic Memorial High School and earned a seat in Harvard College' s class of 1976. He intelligence and work ethic, instilled in him by his mother Esther – who just herself died two weeks ago at the age of 93 – served him well and he graduated from Harvard and completed his formal education at The University of Virginia Law School.

He started his career as an attorney at Gaston and Snow, working on real estate matters which started a life-long interest in real estate development. After leaving Gaston and Snow, Kevin served as President of Awdeh and Co., a real estate development firm.

In 1980 Kevin met the love of his life, Mitchell Adams, at the Church of the Advent in Boston. He and Mitchell were together for 24 years when, in 2004, they became one of the first gay couples in the United States to legally marry. They built a life together focused on service and family. Kevin and Mitchell provided a home for Mitchell's father Sam for eight years and to and Kevin's mother Esther for over 30 years. Kevin and Mitchell's home also served as the family hub and gathering place for Kevin's 5 brothers and their 14 children.

After serving as a volunteer on William Weld's 1990 gubernatorial campaign, Kevin joined the administration as General Counsel for the Executive Offices of Communities and Development and quickly became Acting Secretary. His "meteoric rise"- as described by Governor Weld himself – culminated in his serving as chief of staff to the Governor for three years.

Kevin left the administration in 1997 to work for Fidelity Investments where he mirrored his rise in the Weld administration and served ultimately as President, Fidelity Business Services– India before retiring in 2009.

It was while working for Fidelity in India that Kevin developed a deep interest and affection for her people and her culture. In retirement he started a business called Whitehall-Smith to apply his business skills, his eye for beauty, and his love for India into a new venture importing custom-made silk curtains. This was one of two post-retirement entrepreneurial endeavors for Kevin. The second was a real-estate development company he started with his brother Wayne. Both provided an outlet for his endless energy and creativity.

Kevin, along with his husband Mitchell, were leaders in the gay community for decades– actively supporting the AIDS Action Committee during its nascent days in the depths of the AIDS crisis, exhibiting personal courage by becoming the highest ranking state officials in the country to come out publicly in 1992, improving the lives of young people by helping to create the Governor's Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth, and providing financial support to the Marriage Equality movement. For his and Mitchell's leadership, both were honored in 2012 by the Greater Boston Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbian and Gays (PFLAG) with a Lifetime of Service award.

What is impossible to convey in words is the affect that Kevin's generous spirit, warm heart, and unbridled optimism had on those who were lucky enough to know him. It is equally impossible to express how much he will be missed.

A Memorial Service to be held Saturday, November 1, 2014 at 10 am at St. Paul's Episcopal Church on 59 Court St., Dedham, MA. Reception to follow.

In lieu of followers the family requests that donations be made to Partners in Health.

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