Former editor will be much missed
Brilliant joker who could brighten any room
Family and friends have paid tribute to a “larger than life” former editor of the Kentish Express.
Paul Smith, 72, had worked as both news editor and editor of this paper during the 1970s and 1980s, before setting up Plus Public Relations in Ashford.
He had also worked for the Kent Messenger Group at its Larkfield office as business editor in the 1970s.
His wife Lorely said this week that he was a “larger than life character” who could brighten a room with his sense of humour and his Winston Churchill impressions.
She said: “He was born in Cumbria and was always a proud northerner. I met him when he was my mother’s lodger.
“He was a brilliant joker, he used to walk into a room and the atmosphere would change, quite suddenly it would become louder and noisier.
“He was an old-style journalist and was always very popular. Originally he started at the South Wales Echo, and was among those reporting the Aberfan disaster in 1966, digging through the rubble with everybody else. “He never forgot that.” She added: “He was generous and understanding to his staff and a very honest man. He retired at 62 and together we moved to France.
“We’ve had 11 lovely years in Brittany and thoroughly enjoyed it.
“Paul never lost his love for current affairs, politics and history and would still shout at the news when it came on.”
She added that he will be sadly missed by her and her son Thomas and Paul’s friends and former newsroom colleagues.
Yesterday (Wednesday) would have been Mr Smith’s 73rd birthday.
His funeral will take place in Frace tomorrow (Friday).
Norman Smith, KM Group legal adviser and former managing editor, said: “I have known and worked with Paul for many years, with some outrageous surprises along the way.
“We will be talking Paul stories for a long time. I will miss him very much.”
Former Kentish Express editor Paul Smith has died aged 72