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1938 Jay 2024

Jay Smink

January 24, 1938 — June 5, 2024

Easley, SC

Jay Smink, beloved husband of the late Frances Smink, passed away Wednesday, June 5, 2024. 
Born on January 24, 1938, in Lykens, PA, he was the son of the late John Law and Irene Smink. 
Dr. Smink obtained a Bachelor's degree in Industrial Education from Millersville University of Pennsylvaniaa Master's and Doctorate in Education from The Pennsylvania State University.  He retired as the executive director of the National Dropout Prevention at Clemson University after 24 years and was awarded professor emeritus in Clemson University’s College of Health, Education, and Human Development. 


Dr. Smink was a prominent leader, researcher, speaker, and author in the fields of mentoring, dropout prevention and at-risk youth His work in dropout prevention led to the identification of effective strategies that continue to have positive and long-lasting effects within our education systems and society. 


Before Clemson University, his career included classroom teaching in public schools, leadership positions in state agencies, and research and administrative positions at the National Center for Technical Education at The Ohio State University. 


During retirement, he was active in Clemson’s Emeritus College, and he continued to serve on numerous national and state boards and commissions.  His lifelong commitment to improving educational outcomes was recognized by many awards including the Governor and Mrs. Riley Award for significant contributions to South Carolina 
Beyond his professional endeavors, Jay enjoyed antiquing alongside his wife Francescollecting school bells and hanging her quilts. He was fond of making and sharing buckeyes and clear toy candies.  Golf was a lifelong passion he enjoyed with family and friends. He especially enjoyed playing golf with his sons.  It was always a good day on the course, and he had the goal of shooting his age.  


He enjoyed college football and basketball. He was a lifelong fan of the Penn State Nittany Lions and a passionate follower of the Clemson Tigers. Many friends were made in Memorial Stadium and Littlejohn Coliseum. 

Regardless of his professional commitments, family came first He leaves behind a cherished family that includes his sons, Jay J. Smink (Kris) of Copley, Ohio, and John A. Smink (Sue) of Seneca, SC; granddaughters Olivia Willey (Adam) and Madeline McGinty (Riley); and great-grandchildren Luke and Amelia; his sister Beverly Zimmerman (Ken) of Williamstown, Pennsylvania.  He will be missed. 


In addition to his wife of 51 years and his parents, Jay was preceded in death by his companion Norma Rider.  

A visitation event to honor Jay Smink's life will take place at Duckett - Robinson Funeral Home in Central, South Carolina, on June 13, 2024. The visitation will begin at 6:30 PM and conclude at 8:30 PM. A brief prayer will follow the visitation.  


A graveside service will take place at Calvary United Methodist Cemetery in Wiconisco, PA on Tuesday, June 18, 2024, at 11:00, with arrangements by Dimon Funeral Home of Tower City, PA. 


Gifts can be made in memory of Dr. Jay Smink to Clemson University Foundation, Emeritus College (B2550) at PO Box 1889, Clemson, SC 29633.   

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jay Smink, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, June 13, 2024

6:30 - 8:30 pm (Eastern (no DST) time)

Duckett - Robinson Funeral Home

108 Cross Creek Road, Central, SC 29630

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