Born in Montgomery, Ala., Jonathan was raised in Harvey, Ill. After telling his mother that he had applied to multiple schools, he got into the only university he applied to: Princeton. A philosophy major, he proudly participated in the 1978 Nassau Hall 24-hour sit-in calling for divestment from companies operating in apartheid South Africa.
Jonathan earned a writing MFA and Ph.D. in English and American literature from Washington University in St. Louis. He then joined the faculty at Saint Louis University, where he served for 19 years as an assistant professor and eventually the vice president for diversity and community engagement.
He was also a published poet and talented musician who served his churches as minister of music for 31 years.
Jonathan was predeceased by his father, J.C. Smith. He is survived by his wife of 37 years, Rochelle; their daughters, Lauren (Brooke), Rachel (Shannon), and Mariah; his grandson, August Jonathan; four siblings, including Jacques ’93; his mother, Willie Mae, and many relatives and colleagues. They will miss his open heart, encyclopedic knowledge, and crushing hugs forever.