July 28, 1968 ~ June 28, 2021

Born in: Managua, Nicaragua
Resided in: Long Beach, California

Alberto Jose Smith, first-born son to Gloria Abea Smith and the late Alberto Calvin Smith, was known as “Berto” to his family and “AJ” to his friends. He was born in Managua, Nicaragua on July 28, 1968, and while he lived with his wife and son in Long Beach, CA, he proudly hailed from New York City and considered himself in exile in California, like Napoleon on Elba. Berto graduated from Bryant High School in Queens, NY.

After high school, he joined the United States Marine Corps and served in Desert Storm, the First Gulf War. He was a rifle expert in the 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion. Their motto was “Tip of the Spear”: Swift, Silent and Deadly. When he returned from active duty, he enrolled in Santa Monica City College and then went on to the University of Southern California to pursue his bachelor’s degree. In 1992, he joined the FedEx family, where he worked diligently until his passing.

On March 12, 1993 at a reggae club called “The Shiznet”, he met the love of his life, Nicole Maria Valentin. They married on July 19, 1997 and had a son, Alexander Jude Smith. As a loving husband, Berto would have reached into the sky and pulled down the sun, moon, and stars for Nicole. There is nothing he would not do for his family. Berto was a doting father and was involved in every sport in which his son played, from football to baseball, soccer, and basketball. He was present on the field or court either as coach or the team photographer. Berto was so very proud of his son Alexander and nothing brought him more joy than Alexander’s academic accomplishments and the strong young man he has become.

Berto was a weekend warrior. He loved to play football and baseball and he thoroughly enjoyed golf. He was also a fan of fantasy football and was adept at managing multiple fantasy leagues simultaneously. Next to the dictionary definition of baseball fan is a picture of Berto. There is nothing he enjoyed more than to get to a baseball field early to watch batting practice and then stay through every inning, no matter the score. From Berto’s perspective, the best franchise in baseball was the Yankees and whenever anyone would disagree, he’d remind them… 27 rings!

Thanks to his time in the Marines, Berto developed a passion for travel. Berto traveled the globe with his wife and son, where he fine-tuned his photography prowess. He had an innate ability to select the best picture location and an eye to frame the perfect shot. This is evidenced by the pictures in his home and his office, along with the thousands of pictures he had stored digitally. Berto was a history buff and a passionate reader. He also had an unquenchable thirst for knowledge… he was always learning. He enjoyed showcasing his knowledge and vast vocabulary while beating family and friends in games like Trivial Pursuit and Words with Friends. He loved dominos and referred to himself as “The Dominologist”, as if that’s a word.

While he traveled the globe, his heart always brought him back home to his family in New York. According to Berto, everything was better in New York: the food, the weather, the music, the clothes, the Yankees and the Giants… everything! No trip to New York would be complete without convening the “Knights of Peter Luger” – hands down, his favorite steak house. It was a gentlemen’s evening out sans wives or girlfriends. While this rule was unwritten, it was fully understood by all participants… much to his wife’s chagrin.

In March 2017, Berto was diagnosed with late-stage Multiple Myeloma. The many angels at City of Hope facilitated a stem cell transplantation in September 2017, which blessed him with more time with his family and friends. The last seven months were incredibly difficult for Berto; however, he fought valiantly, until the end.

He leaves to cherish his memory, those who loved him so much: His beloved wife, Nicole Valentin-Smith; beloved mother, Gloria Abea Smith; son, Alexander Jude Smith; brothers and sisters, Anaishelle Smith, Carlos Adrian Smith and Jorge Armando Smith; tias y tios, Rosario Abea, Carlos Jose Abea, Jose Antonio Abea, Francisco Alberto Montiel, Gloria Smith, Rosa Smith; motherin-law, Luana Garcia Valentin; sister-in-law, Natashia B. Valentin and brother-in-law, Eric Michael Valentin; nieces and nephews, Cydia Matos Kimsey, Jeanette Matos, Sasha Valentin Green, Kevin Matthew Green Jr., Eric Michael Valentin Jr., and Shannan D. Valentin; first cousins, Rene Uriza, Gladys Eaton, Melissa Benoit, Guillermo A. Smith, Roxana Martinez, Guillermo Alberto Martinez, Celia Bobadilla, Marisela Bobadilla, Jeanine Bobadilla, Carla Bobadilla Lopez, Sergio Bobadilla, Norman Bobadilla, Juan Carlos Abea, Claudia Abea, Jose Antonio Abea Jr., David Abea, Andres Abea, Margarita Montiel, Carlos Roberto Montiel, and a host of cousins and friends. Berto is now with his loving father, Alberto Calvin Smith; father-in-law, Donald Jude Valentin; tias y tios, Ofelia Marina Benoit, Gladys Smith, Guillermo Miguel Smith, and Leonor Darrican; brother-in-law, Monti Kevin Valentin; first cousins, Otilia Uriza Espinoza, Otilia Smith, Carolina Abea.

Berto was the very best of us. He was a kind soul and a wonderful friend, always willing to listen and lend a helping hand.


Graveside Service: July 12, 2021 12:00 pm

Holy Cross Cemetery
5835 W. Slauson Avenue
Culver City, CA 90230


Service: July 12, 2021 10:30 am

St. Cornelius Catholic Church
3330 Bellflower Blvd.
Long Beach, CA 90808


Rosary Service: July 12, 2021 10:00 am - July 12, 2021 10:30 am

St. Cornelius Catholic Church
3330 Bellflower Blvd.
Long Beach, CA 90808


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  1. candle 4With all the love in the world i say “Until we meet again, my dear friend” You will be truly missed.

    The Pacheco’s

  2. candle 7We are so sorry for your loss. There are no words to ease the pain you feel, but please know we are thinking of you both.

    Patsy & Family

  3. candle 7I’m so sorry for your loss. Sending love and light to your family with deepest condolences.

  4. candle 1It was such an honor and a privilege to work with AJ. He was truly a gift to all of us. Devoted, determined, respectful and kind, it was always a pleasure to work with him. AJ will always be with us… just in another room.

    My sincerest condolences and love to the Smith Family.

  5. candle 7Nicole and family. I am so terribly sorry for your loss. May God provide you peace and comfort during this difficult time.

  6. candle 4Alberto…I love you and will truly miss you. Rest in paradise my wonderful “bro-in-law”!

  7. candle 8Dear Alberto, my wonderful Son-in-law, whom I loved, like you were my own son. You were a wonderful person, greatly loved, and will be missed so very much. “May you rest in peace.” My darlin Nicole, “It’s just good nite, until the mornin.” My Alex, your dad will still be sending his advice, with love that you will feel in your heart.

  8. Your “Homegoing” Service and “Celebration of Love” was so beautiful and
    marvelous, I know you were very happy and proud of Nicole and Alex.

  9. candle 1It is with great sadness but also great admiration that I say you will be missed. I pray everyday that my cousin Nicole and nephew Alex will continue to know you are with them and the memories will tell the story of a loving father, husband, uncle, son and friend.

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