Funeral services will be held on Thursday, August 26, 2010 at 12:00 p.m. at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church with Bryant Wright officiating. Entombment will follow in Arlington Memorial Park with full military honors.
Mr. Smith attended Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. After graduation, he decided to serve his country in the U.S. Navy on August 26, 1940. While in the Navy, he attained the rank of Lieutenant Commander and received the Naval Merit Citation.
Following his naval service, he entered the University of Georgia School of Law and in 1948 received his LLB. After his graduation he served as county attorney, solicitor of the State Court of Grady County, Cairo City Attorney, and attorney for the Grady County Board of Education.
He was elected to represent Grady County in the Georgia House of Representatives in 1958, where he served for eight years. Mr. Smith became Speaker of the House of Representatives in 1963 and held that position through 1966.
In 1966 he was elected Lieutenant Governor of the State of Georgia and is the only person to ever serve as Presiding Officer of both the House, as Speaker,and the Senate, as Lieutenant Governor, and Presiding Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court. In 1976 he was elected to a six year term as Judge on the Georgia Court of Appeals. He thus became the only person in Georgia history to win contested elections in all three branches of government.
Justice Smith was elected to the Supreme Court of Georgia in 1980, and joined the Court on January 1, 1981. He was elected by his colleagues as Presiding Justice and took office in that position as of January 1, 1990.
Justice Smith was preceded in death by his first wife, Elosie Taylor Smith, sister, Lynda S. Mercer, and brother, Patrick Smith. He is survived by his wife, Joan Davis Smith of Marietta, GA; stepchildren, Allen V. (Sarah) Cleveland of Acworth, GA; and Alisa C. (Kent) Owens of Buford, GA; his brother, Truett (Glenna) Smith of Elberton, GA; his nieces and nephews, Louie (Jan) Shirah of Jacksonville Beach, FL; Donald (Jane) Shirah of Hopeful, GA; Barbara S. Jackson of Albany, GA; Beth S. (Tommy) Thompson of Cordele, GA; Pat( Rosalee) Smith of W. Columbia, SC; George Smith and John Smith of W. Columbia, SC; Marsha S. (Chris) Easler of Spartanburg, SC; great-nieces and nephews; Cleve Shirah, Cile Shirah, James( Jay) Thornewell Shirah, Paul Shirah, Dona Lyn S. Goodpasture, John Thompson, Jo T. Bloodworth, Brock Smith; sisters-in-law Linda Davis and Betty Davis of Atlanta, GA; step-grandchildren Kaitlyn Owens, Emily (Jason) Davis, Chelsea Hester and numerous great nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Johnson Ferry Baptist Church, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, GA, University of Georgia School of Law.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.hmpattersoncantonhill.com
H.M. Patterson and Son, Canton Hill Chapel is in charge of arrangements.