William Claney Smith, Jr.
August 04, 2021 - March 26, 2013
WILLIAM CLANEY JR.
Age 84, of Franklin Park, passed away at home on Tuesday, March 26, 2013. He was the beloved husband of 48 years of Nancy; father of William, James, Timothy, David (Amy), Douglas, Mark (Christine) and the late Donald Smith; proud grandfather of Sarah, Sophia and Isla; brother of Donald (Mary Lou), Patricia Dougherty (Edward) and David (Judy); siblings that preceded him in death, and Helen Burnham (James) and Milton Stauber (Florence). William was born to Mildred (Bracken) and William Claney Smith on May 12, 1928 in Pittsburgh. He was a devout Catholic, attended Assumption Grade School in Bellevue, and graduated from North Catholic, Duquesne University and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review. He took a break from Law School to serve on active duty in the United States Marine Corps from 1950-52, and was honorably discharged having achieved the rank of Captain. He was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar and achieved key landmark court precedents in imminent domain and insurance law, including a Pennsylvania Supreme Court victory protecting the life insurance benefits of all American GIs. He worked at the appellate counsel for the Allegheny County District Attorney, arguing dozens of cases before the PA Supreme Court and Federal Courts. In a diverse and successful private practice he won antitrust cases and many others, and structured the first company to purchase an IBM mainframe computer. He then turned his focus to residential real estate and development, where he created some of the well known housing communities in the North Hills. He combined his legal background and real estate business, becoming a property rights advocate and representing landowners in landmark property rights cases for rails-to-trails. He had a great interest in civics and politics, running for local office early in his career, and remaining active in political fundraising and policy for many years. He had a lifelong love for fishing, travel and adventure, which he passed on to his seven sons. He was also a founding member of Allegheny North Swim Club and encouraged his children to swim competitively, all of whom did. Friends will be received Friday, March 29 from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. at T.B. DEVLIN FUNERAL HOME, 806 Perry Hwy., Ross Twp. A Blessing Service will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 30 at St. John Neumann, 2230 Rochester Road in Franklin Park, followed by interment at Calvary Cemetery.