December 12 1938 – September 7 2021
Lawrence ” Larry ” Leonard Smith of San Jose. CA died of heart complications on the morning of September 7, 2021 at the age of 82. Larry was born in San Francisco and raised in Sunnyvale during his childhood and teen-age years. He graduated from Freemont High School in 1956 and served his county in the Air Force until he was honorably discharged four years later in 1960. Upon his return home, Larry became reacquainted with his childhood sweet heart, Donna Gail Ross. They married in the fall of 1960 and enjoyed 48 years of happiness until Donna’s passing in 2008. Larry worked in the floor covering industry until he retired at age 52. At this point Larry’s life blossomed. Very few people, including his family and friends knew that Larry was a dedicated martial artist. He opened his own karate studio and passed down his wealth of knowledge to hundreds of students and teachers throughout the martial arts world. His seven decades of involvement in the martial arts would earn him five 7th degree black belts in five different systems, the title of Professor Smith and a spot in the Martial Arts Hall Of fame. He touched the lives of many and we will be forever indebted to him for his knowledge, his dedication and his witty sense of humor.