The Charlotte County Theater Arts community has lost one of it’s pillars, with the passing of Christopher Smith, 72, of Punta Gorda. Chris passed on October 8th, from kidney failure while fighting metastatic prostate cancer.
Born to Mary Spelman and Gale Smith December 28, 1949 in Fairfield, CT, Chris was a contemporary of Steven Tyler, lead singer of the rock band Aerosmith. Friends from their early teens, Chris would go on to become the primary photographer for the group, and was credited for all cover and liner photos in the band’s most recent 50th Anniversary album, released earlier this year.
Chris attended the Boston College of Fine Arts, developing a keen eye for not only photography, but theatre set design and construction as well. He met and married the love of his life, Renee. When their daughter Isabella got a role in Charlotte Player’s Kids Onstage program, Chris volunteered to help. That led to an engagement as Charlotte Players’ Resident Set Designer, a position he held for more than 14 years and nearly 150 set design/builds until his passing.
Everyone liked Chris, and he loved the work he did for Charlotte Players. He enjoyed seeing the end product of his designs, the creative costumes, and each director and actor’s contribution. He was a devoted husband, a dedicated son and brother and a great dad to Isabella, who he always credited as his greatest achievement. He was fascinated by folk art of the Highwaymen genre, he collected antique stained glass, and was a great pet dad to many cats and loved raising ducks on a pond in his yard.
He is survived by Renee, his wife of 22 years, his daughter, Isabella, of Nashville, TN, his brothers Henry (St. Petersburg) and Bruce (Dallas) and his sister Marianne Matzenic (Australia).
The family is planning a Celebration of Life on Wednesday, December 28th, 2022 at the Charlotte Players’ Langdon Playhouse, at1pm. The Playhouse is located at 1182 Market Circle in Port Charlotte.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Kids Onstage Christopher Smith Scholarship fund. Please make checks payable to the Charlotte Players and mail to P.O. Box 494088, Port Charlotte, FL 33949. Donations may also be made by calling the business office at 941-255-1022.