The Bruin Voice

Albert Smith – O’Connor Woods


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O’Connor Woods resident Albert Smith was born on November 17, 1930.  He was born in Sacramento and came to Stockton around 1941.  

He worked as an electrician for Stockton Unified School District for 22 years before getting a job at General Mills.  

“I wanted to become an electrician so Stockton Unified School District had an opening for an electrician so I come by and apply and got the job,” Smith said.  “I went back to General Mills and told them if they had an opening for an electrician. But they said I didn’t have enough experience. So when I went back and told them that I had a job in Stockton, in the school district as an electrician – ‘oh we didn’t know that.’”

One unfortunate memory from his time in SUSD was an on-site injury he suffered.

“I wanted to move the scaffolding I was on so I grabbed a light fixture and pulled myself,” said Smith.  “So I broke my legs and dislocated my knee.”

When the Korean War broke out, he signed up for the Air Force with his brother and the two of them were assigned jobs as clerks.  They were told that they would be sent to Japan; instead, the two of them ended up in Germany.

“[I] was in Germany for three years and then got discharged from service and got a job at the school district,” said Smith.  “Lived in Boston for a while and then come back to Stockton.”

Albert says that the one thing the world should remember about him is his honesty.

“I’ve always been honest and I’ve only gotten more honest as I’ve gotten older,” Smith said.

He also thinks that politics have changed quite a bit, particularly as the population has become more diverse.  Although he believes politicians generally try their best, he emphasizes that he would not want to be President of the United States.

His biggest hobby after retirement has been researching his family history, though he claims he hasn’t found anything interesting yet.

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Albert Smith – O’Connor Woods