The memory of George H.P. Smith, former Mayor of Lewes, is being kept alive by those who loved him, served with him and continue to value his many contributions to the city where he was born. Lewes Mayor Jim Ford will dedicate a marker honoring George Smith at the tree planted in his memory in Smith Park during a ceremony on Feb. 5.


The memory of George H.P. Smith, former Mayor of Lewes, is being kept alive by those who loved him, served with him and continue to value his many contributions to the city where he was born. 

Lewes City Council has announced the creation of “Hon. George H.P. Smith Day,” to be celebrated each year on Feb. 5, Smith’s birthday.

“This is a fitting tribute to a fine man who dedicated a major portion of his life to Lewes,” said Mayor James L. Ford III.  Smith passed away Sept. 11, 2005 at the age of 74.

Mayor Ford will dedicate a marker honoring George Smith at the tree planted in his memory in Smith Park during a ceremony on Feb. 5.

In addition to the Council’s tribute, Smith’s daughter Barbara Shelton, his wife Lorraine Smith and cousin Stell Parker Selby, have announced the launch of an annual appeal for the “George HP Smith Scholarship Fund,” which will support Cape Henlopen High School graduates who wish to follow in Mr. Smith’s footsteps as educators. 

The first appeal mailing will be sent to local residents in February, and a contest for potential recipients will be announced later this year. The fund is maintained at the Greater Lewes Foundation.

Grotto Pizza of Lewes is also recognizing Mayor Smith’s day by donating 20% of its receipts on Thursday evening, Feb. 4, to the Smith Scholarship Fund.  A voucher must be presented when ordering and can be obtained by emailing Gretchen McCarthy at Gretchen@horizonphilanthropic.com or contacting the Greater Lewes Foundation at 302-644-0107.

Known for his attention to the details of running a small city, Mayor Smith was instrumental in keeping Lewes connected to the information and funds needed to ensure progress. Appointed to fill a City Council vacancy in 1976 by then-mayor Al Stango, Smith was first elected mayor in 1994, then was re-elected four times before retiring due to health issues.

One of Smith’s many contributions came in the 1980s when, as a councilman, he cast a pivotal vote against making Lewes a coal-receiving port.  The City faced significant financial and political pressures to take this action, which would have led to the construction of a major industrial port at the location of today’s Cape Shores community.

George Henry Price Smith received his B.A. from Delaware State College and earned a graduate degree in education at the University of Delaware.  He was then drafted into the U.S. Army where he spent two years serving in the Korean War.

Following his Army service, Smith spent more than 35 years as a teacher in the Cape Henlopen School District at Rehoboth Elementary School.   After retiring, he continued to mentor students through volunteer tutoring sessions.

Although Smith served as a member and director of numerous organizations, his passion was to improve his hometown of Lewes.  Smith was often praised by his colleagues for his level-headed and calm demeanor and his genuine love of people.