J. Smith

J. Gregory "Greg" Smith

Thursday, November 10th, 1966 - Saturday, April 20th, 2019
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James Gregory Smith, 52, of Cape Elizabeth, Maine took his life on Saturday, April 20, 2019.

The following words are evidence that his final act on earth did not come from his heart or lack of ardor for life, but was the result of addiction and mental illness. There’s simply no other way to explain the abrupt end to his beautiful life.

Since childhood, Greg was deeply immersed in literature, film and music. His love of the arts combined with his intelligence, wit, charisma, work ethic, oratory gifts and educations at both the Groton School and Columbia University manifested in him, and fashioned an undeniable creative force.

At every step of his career, Greg was a performer. He started his professional life in New York City as an actor and filmmaker, and eventually found a home in advertising.

For the last 20 years as Chief Creative Officer of the VIA Agency in Portland, Maine—Greg’s talent, leadership and audacity have well-served many of the world’s most iconic brands. From Sony to Samsung, Pepsi to Welch’s, Greenpeace to The Salvation Army—chances are, you’re familiar with some of Greg’s work.

In his time at VIA, Greg led the agency onto the national stage by winning marquee pitches, countless awards and, in 2011, Small Agency of the Year (AdAge). He also helmed many pro bono projects that greatly impacted his community. For the last few years, he volunteered his time and talent to Preble Street, a Portland, Maine-based, non-profit providing services to people who struggle with homelessness, hunger and poverty.

Greg loved Bruce Springsteen, R.P. McMurphy, the Sunday Times, crossword puzzles, the “Pats, C’s and Sox,”, little kids, nicknames and the “F” word. But miles above all, he loved his family.

Greg is survived by his parents, James F. and Margaret Frame Smith of Boston, Massachusetts and Kennebunk Beach, Maine. They brought their beloved son into the world on November 10, 1966 in Salem, Massachusetts. Greg is also survived by his sister, Ellen Scott, her husband Stuart and their children Sophie and Juliet of Wellesley, Massachusetts. Greg relished spending time body surfing at Mother’s Beach with his father, teaming up to cook and grill with his mother, and striking up engaging dinner conversation with the “whole gang”. Greg shared a bond with many aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws, and friends who were more like family to him.

Of all the titles held by Greg, the two he cherished most were father and husband. Greg leaves behind his wife, Emily, of Cape Elizabeth, his eldest son, Nate, of Portland, and his son Elias, a freshman at UC Santa Barbara. His love and appreciation for them were deep and unwavering. Greg’s true pride and joy resided in his time with “Champ, Rip and The Gov”—lazy days on the lake in Oquossoc, coaching his kids’ sport’s teams, legendary meals off his grill (always wood-fire, never propane), night swims, thrills at “The Garden,” philosophical debates, and making everyone laugh until their stomachs (including his own) hurt.

To sum it all up, the final word goes to The Boss. Greg wouldn’t have it any other way.

“It’s not the time in your life, it’s the life in your time.”
-Bruce Springsteen

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 AM Saturday, May 4 at Holy Spirit Parish, St. Martha’s Church, 30 Portland Rd, Kennebunk. Interment will follow in Hope Cemetery in Kennebunk.

Any memorial contributions in Greg’s memory may be made to Preble Street at 38 Preble Street, Portland, ME 04101 or the Midcoast Humane animal shelter at 190 Pleasant Street, Brunswick, ME, 04011.

To share a memory or leave a message of condolence, please visit Greg’ Book of Memories page at
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Service Details

  • Service

    Saturday, May 4th, 2019 | 11:00am
    Saturday, May 4th, 2019 11:00am
    Holy Spirit Parish - St. Martha's Church
    Portland Road
    KENNEBUNK, ME 04043
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Hope Cemetery
    1 Barnard Lane
    PO Box 211
    KENNEBUNK, ME 04043
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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6 trees have been planted in memory of J. Gregory "Greg" Smith

Sally Narkis

Posted at 06:04pm
To honor the life of Greg Smith
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A memorial tree was planted in the memory of J. Smith — Plant a Tree Now

Anne Gates Dillon

Posted at 04:31pm
Once upon a time there were two little boys, Greg and Jackie, wearing striped jerseys and carrying their little backpacks, standing on the front walk in Lynnfield, ready to go to their first day camp. Great buddies with mischievous smiles on their darling faces. Fun times for them and happy memories for us. Grateful for that memory. Greg will be in our hearts always.
With our love and sympathy,
Anne Gates Dillon and family

Church & Dwight Co

Posted at 10:09am
Britta Bomhard - To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die
Melissa Martin - With time, there is Peace
Ed Kline - Let grateful memories survive in times of sorrow
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A memorial tree was planted in the memory of J. Smith — Plant a Tree Now

The Kane Family

Posted at 05:34pm
Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. May there be some comfort in knowing that someone as special as Greg will never be forgotten.
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A memorial tree was planted in the memory of J. Smith — Plant a Tree Now

Pattie Garrahy Robertson

Posted at 01:00pm
Greg Smith burned SO brightly. He ignited every room he entered with
his sharp wit, intellect, radical sense of humor. He challenged us to always
be curious and question. We loved him💕. Emily, Nate and Elias we love you so. 💕
Uncle Bryan, Aunt Pattie, Cousins Laura and Sarah

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