Cover photo for Joseph "Joe" L. Smolinski, III's Obituary
1961 Joseph 2022

Joseph "Joe" L. Smolinski, III

November 11, 1961 — January 29, 2022



Joseph “Joe” L. Smolinski III

A Kind-Hearted Man -

Joseph "Joe" L. Smolinski III, age 60, of Mechanicsburg, and formerly of Manayunk, passed away at home on Saturday, January 29, 2022.  Joe was born on Saturday, November 11, 1961, in Manayunk to the late Joseph L. Smolinski Jr. and Audrey T. (Sullivan) Smolinski.

Joseph’s survivors include his wife of 26 years, Cynthia (Foltz) Smolinski; his beloved son, Joseph “Joey” Franklin Smolinski; his sister, Audrey T. (Smolinski) Morrison-Vagnoni and husband, Armand; his two brothers: Raymond J. Smolinski and Timothy J. Smolinski; his “brothers-for-life” Joseph Stepkowicz and Gene Sock; his brother-in-law, William Foltz; his sister-in-laws: Sharon Goldhawk and husband, Greg and Carolyn Potts husband, William Myers; his nephew, Jarrett; his nieces: Melissa, Jessica, Sydney, Valerie, and Megan.  In addition to his loving parents, Joe was recently predeceased by his mother-in-law, Ruth Walker Foltz, whom he cherished; and by his father-in-law, Frank W. Foltz, whom he never got to meet, but as a WWII veteran, would have loved and respected.

Growing up in Manayunk, Joe was an active member of St. Josaphat Church, graduating from Roxborough High School, Philadelphia in 1979 and attending the Philadelphia School of Offset Lithography.  Joe’s work life included 40+ years of estimating, customer service and hands-on work in the commercial printing and paper/packaging industry in the Philadelphia and Harrisburg area, including Your Private Printer, Fry Communications, International Paper, Xpedx and more recently customer service at Delta Dental.

Joe, kind-hearted, always ready with a warm hug, often shared memories of growing up in Manayunk: taking long walks up and down the streets of Manayunk, with mom Audrey, Raymond and little Audrey to get a special treat; watching the Honeymooners and classic movies, sharing laughs with his dad; his special bond with little Audrey, playing Winnie the Pooh and later, running the streets with Raymond and hours of playing pinochle with family.

In his teen years, hours of “kitchen table talk and laughs” with Mom and friends; good times with his fellow “Gajoyda” buddies fishing (and grilling!) on the Schuylkill; meeting in Pretzel Park, nickel and dime poker and countless hours of The Three Stooges.

The pride of his life was his son, Joseph “Joey”, graduating high school with honors and obtaining a BS in business administration at Shippensburg University.  They share great memories of Cub Scouting and Pinewood Derbies and a love of history, model trains, museums, Lincoln and movies.

He also shared thousands of laughs with Cindy and Joey watching Seinfeld and The Office (over and over), enjoying fishing, nature and cooking shows AND watching Jeopardy – “the3smos” together could make ONE good contestant!

Joe took great pride in his home, yard, maintaining the pool for many Joey-Jams and gardening, even planting a Lincoln Witness Tree in the back yard with his son.  A lifelong, diehard fan of the Phillies and Eagles – Joe was thrilled with the Super Bowl win in 2018 and the “philly philly” play!  He celebrated in the streets of Manayunk with family for the Phillies 1980 World Series win and at home in Mechanicsburg in 2008.

Other loves included The Beatles and classic rock, cooking & barbequing, military history, reading and watching and feeding the birds.  Joe’s favorite vacation spots included Canada, Cape May, NJ nearly every year, Disney World – fulfilling his childhood dream of riding Space Mountain and an amazing California trip to Sequoia National Park, Disneyland and movie studios.

The true love of his life, beyond family, was always catch & release fishing, especially on his beloved, nearby “Connie” (Conodoguinet) Creek with his many fishing buddies including Step, Gene, Joey, nieces, nephew and fur-buddy Thor.  Many times, instead of fishing himself, Joe was willing to share his techniques and knowledge of the sport and how to “read” the waters.  He enjoyed years of canoeing, kayaking and wading, some days catching dozens of bass, and some days not, but good days anyway!  We all know Joe is in the sunshine, “Gone Fishing”, somewhere on a heavenly, calm creek.

In lieu of flowers, Joe and family would love donations made to the Conodoguinet Creek Watershed Association, The Autism Society Greater Harrisburg Area or the Sequoia Parks Conservancy.

Joe’s family will be remembering his life with a private service, officiated by Pastor Robert V. Bishard, Jr. of Young’s United Methodist Church.

Joe’s family has entrusted his care to Buhrig Funeral Home & Crematory in Mechanicsburg, (717) 766-3421.  Read Joe’s full obituary, view his memorial video, offer condolences and sympathy, share stories and memories, upload photographs and videos, light a candle and sign his official guest book by visiting

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joseph "Joe" L. Smolinski, III, please visit our flower store.


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