Funeral Arrangements Set For Leader In Lexington’s African-American Community

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William Henry Smith, Senior
Lexington has lost a dear friend and leader in the city’s African-American community.

William Henry Smith, Senior, passed away Monday at the age of 83.

Mr. Smith was born January 27, 1930.

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He was a graduate of Lexington’s old Dunbar High School and enrolled at Indiana University. 

He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War.

Mr. Smith got heavily involved in the YMCA in the 1950’s where he helped integrate the YMCA program in Lexington.  He later became associate general director of the YMCA in Central Kentucky.

He also helped organize the YMCA Black Achievers in Lexington.

He was named to the city’s housing authority’s board of commissioners in the early 1970’s.  He later became vice chair and eventually chairman of the board.  He served on the board a total of 29-years.

Mr. Smith was active in Shiloh Baptist Church in Lexington for 75-years.

He was the Sunday School Superintendent for more than 40-years and a trustee for more than 30-years.

He was also a founding member of the Community Kitchen and the Lexington Clergy Campaign for the Homeless.

He was a volunteer coordinator for the Job Corps and worked for Opportunity Workshop, among a host of other community groups, organizations and charities.

Mr. Smith is survived by his wife, Virginia; three sons; four grandchildren; a sister and a brother.

Funeral services will be at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 12th at Shiloh Baptist Church.

There will be two visitations at Shiloh Baptist Church:  from 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. on Friday, October 11th and from 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 12th.

Burial will be in the Lexington Cemetery.

Smith & Smith Funeral Home in Lexington is handling the arrangements.

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.