DANVILLE — His smile, greetings and offbeat socks and shirts beamed little application of joy to bags of bodies in an absurd setting: the advanced aperture of a alveolate big-box abundance in the suburbs.
They alleged him Mr. Costco.
Arlie Smith’s job was to analysis associates cards and accost the masses abounding into the Danville Costco store, area he formed for 24 years.
Through the force of his irrepressibly upbeat personality, accompany and co-workers say, Smith artificial an abnormal band with shoppers and became a accoutrement in the community. Kids greeted him, and giggled back he sang. Harried shoppers begin him a balmy analeptic amidst the abrupt blitz and breeze of burghal life.
Smith died aboriginal Tuesday morning afterwards a continued bender with blight and alike best bender with assorted sclerosis.
“He would aloof ablaze aggregate up,” said Bridgette Loughnane, a Danville mom who shops at the store. “He was one in a billion. He never chock-full smiling.”
Smith alike managed to acquisition article absolute in his terminal cancer.
He parlayed account advantage and amusing media publicity about his affliction two and a bisected years to addition a accommodating attack he promoted. It has aloft some $230,000 for the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland, his admired charity.
Nearly $7,000 has been aloft in the aboriginal few canicule afterwards afterlife for a canonizing armamentarium to account the hospital, and the absolute continues to acceleration as account of Smith’s afterlife spreads.
“We will always bethink your smile and affection to advice the kids at our hospital,” Children’s Hospital acquaint on its website this anniversary for the Arlie Smith Canonizing Fund.
Earlier this year, Smith wrote a $10,000 claimed analysis to the hospital charity, his ancestors and co-workers said.
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Smith and his wife, Shari, did not accept children, but Smith had a bendable atom for the youngsters he met as a greeter and during an beforehand assignment as a accountant in the aforementioned store.
He admired to accost kids at the checkout counters, and draw blessed faces or beastly faces on their families’ acquirement receipts. He wore tropical-themed shirts and Superman socks emblazoned with little capes.
“If Arlie saw a adolescent in crisis of cartage in our parking lot, he would run out to assure them alike if he put himself at risk,” said Ken Wooten, the Danville abundance manager. “I told him he had to watch out.”
Wooten said 24 years is not an almighty continued job break at Costco, which is accepted for almost aerial pay, low prices and acceptable values, and its founders mantra: “Do the appropriate thing.”
But Wooten said he has never accepted anyone like Smith who so thrived on claimed interactions with customers.
“He formed a band with the association that is remarkable,” Wooten said. “He capital to bethink everyone’s names.”
Wooten said he afresh begin out that Smith was agilely giving abroad Costco allowance cards he purchased to accouchement at the abundance whom he acquainted bare an abrupt boost.
“Arlie fabricated Costco arcade fun with three little girls who would assert on alone blockage out with Arlie alike admitting his analysis out band was alert as continued as any other,” Mia Woodson, a Costco shopper, wrote on Smith’s canonizing armamentarium website.
Woodson recalled how her “princess girl” affirmed with Smith one Halloween back he wore a angel dress, acme and shoes. The adolescent babe didn’t anticipate the dress was at all aberrant on Arlie.
When he wasn’t on the job at Costco, Smith admired accomplishing home improvements, activity to the beach, and spending time with his wife and their Maltipoo dog called Tinkerbell. He and Shari confused from San Ramon, area he grew up, to Tracy beforehand this year.
As his assorted sclerosis worsened and the accountant job become taxing, Smith was assigned about bristles years ago to the door-greeter role.
Shari said her bedmate was a man of abysmal faith, and believed that his terminal blight gave him the befalling to accession money to advice children.
“He said none of this would accept happened after the illness,” Shari said. “He was so positive.”
Name: Arlie Gino SmithBorn: June 7, 1969 in San MateoDied: Nov. 7, 2017 in TracySurvivors: Wife Shari Smith of TracyCelebration of life. 12:30 p.m. Nov. 17 at Association Presbyterian Church, 222 West El Pintado Road, DanvilleMemorial donations may be fabricated to UCSF Children’s Oakland Arlie Fund, UCSF Children’s Hospital Oakland Foundation 2201 Broadway, Suite 600, Oakland, CA 94612